The diagnosis of sepsis must be made quickly, but the tests presently used to do so can take up to 72 hours. Researchers have created an optical detector that can diagnose sepsis in minutes instead of several days. The portable biosensor uses digital plasmonic imaging, in which nanoparticles have improved.
An optical metasurface made of a thin gold sheet with billions of tiny holes is used in the gadget. To enable accurate biomarker identification, the metasurface concentrates light around the nanoholes. An LED and a conventional CMOS camera are used to find sepsis indicators in a blood sample.
To conduct a test, a sample is mixed with a solution of nanoparticles intended to capture the biomarkers, which is then applied to the metasurface.
The nanoparticles containing the biomarkers partly block light from passing through the perforated metasurface when an LED is applied. The CMOS camera captures images of these nanoscale interactions, which are digitally counted in real time with great accuracy. The presence of disease indicators in a sample and their concentration are quickly assessed using the CMOS images.
According to the researchers, the biosensor employs plasmonics, which enables it to be constructed from small, low-cost components while maintaining accuracy on par with industry-recognized laboratory techniques.
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