Purdue’s Jeffrey Rhoads, George Chiu, and Eric Nauman have developed a method to identify biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe can detect diseases and infections and conditions such as traumatic brain injury at an early stage. An array of sensors enable statistical-based detection
The small, cheap vibrating sensors use a piezoelectrically actuated resonant microsystem to detect biomarkers in one or two drops of blood. When driven by electricity, they can sense a change in mass. The sensitivity of the resonator increases as the resonant frequency increases.
The technology could be used for the early detection of traumatic brain injury in athletes The Purdue Neurotrauma Group found that concussions are usually caused by multiple hits over time, and not by a single blow. Research into the effects of repeated head impacts on high school football players has shown changes in brain chemistry and metabolism, even in players who have not been diagnosed with concussions.
The test can detect minute amounts of proteins, including protein from glial cells, which surround neurons in the brain. The proteins are secreted in relatively high concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of victims of traumatic brain injury. Prior studies have found that a small amount of fluid leaked through the blood-brain barrier and got into the bloodstream of victims.
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