For the first time, scientists could identify very low concentrations of a cancer protein biomarker in a urine sample using a chip-based optical sensor with an embedded laser. The new technology is more sensitive than previous models and may result in non-invasive, low-cost methods to identify molecules that signify the existence or progression of a disease.
Today’s expensive and sophisticated techniques to detect biomarker levels necessitate biopsies and analysis in specialized labs. The newly created technology opens the way for the quicker and more sensitive detection of panels of biomarkers, enabling physicians to act quickly to enhance the personalized diagnosis and treatment of illnesses like cancer.
The study demonstrates that the new optical sensor is capable of clinically useful label-free detection of S100A4, a protein linked to the emergence of human tumors.
The biosensor could make point-of-care devices that concurrently screen for several diseases. It is an excellent choice for clinical applications because of its straightforward operation and lack of complicated sample processing requirements or sensor operation.
According to the researchers, the sensor also has promise for non-biomedical uses. It can be used, for instance, to find various kinds of gases or liquid combinations.
The new chip-based sensor illuminates the sample with light from an on-chip microdisk laser to identify the existence of particular molecules. This laser light’s hue or frequency changes noticeably when interacting with the relevant biomarker.
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