Gold test strip may detect heart attacks early

A team of researchers are working on a new gold test strip that is demonstrating great potential for the early detection of certain heart attacks.

Researchers from New York University’s (NYU) school of engineering and Peking University in Beijing, China are developing the test strip for cardiac troponin I (cTn-I) detection.

cTn-I is a specific marker for myocardial infarction. The cTn-I level in patients experiencing myocardial infarction is several thousand times higher than in healthy people.

The early detection of cTn-I is, therefore, a key factor of heart attack diagnosis and therapy.

The new strip uses microplasma-generated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and shows much higher detection sensitivity than conventional test strips.

The new cTn-I test is based on the specific immune-chemical reactions between antigen and antibody on immunochromatographic test strips using AuNPs.

Compared to traditional chemical methods, the surfaces of the gold nanoparticles generated by the microplasma-induced liquid chemical process attract more antibodies which results in significantly higher detection sensitivity.

“The new technology has great potential for other biomedical and therapeutic applications such as tumour detection, cancer imaging, drug delivery and treatment of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” said Kurt H Becker, professor at NYU’s school of engineering.

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