New battery-powered device diagnoses heart attacks in just minutes

Researchers have developed a new device capable of diagnosing heart attacks in 30 minutes or less, sharing their findings in Lab on a Chip.

The solution in question is a battery-powered sensor that targets three different types of microRNA, making the distinction between acute myocardial infarctions and a reperfusion injury.

“The current methods used to diagnose a heart attack are not only time intensive, but they also have to be applied within a certain window of time to get accurate results,” lead author Pinar Zorlutuna, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement. “Because our sensor targets a combination of microRNA, it can quickly diagnose more than just heart attacks without the timeline limitation.”

The group sees other clear benefits with this new device: its affordability and convenience.

“The portability and cost efficiency of this device demonstrates the potential for it to improve how heart attacks and related issues are diagnosed in clinical settings and in developing countries,” co-author Hsueh-Chia Chang, also a professor at the University of Notre Dame, said in the same statement.

Specialists from the University of Florida also assisted with the design and development of the solution. Zorlutuna, Chang and colleagues have already submitted a patent application for their sensor; they are now considering launching a new startup company that could one day sell it to the public.

Read the team’s full analysis in Lab on a Chip here.  

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