Crop Biotech Update

Kiel Scientists "Shrunk" Laboratories

February 17, 2016

Researchers at Kiel University have developed a chip that can recognize various proteins in a drop of blood. This could make medical diagnoses much quicker and cheaper in the future.

The chip is the size and shape of a microscope slide. Red blood cells are filtered onto it from the blood using a membrane, and the plasma is sent to the sensor via fine capillaries. The scientists have 'stuck' various antibodies onto this surface. If the blood flows through the chip, the proteins that match these antibodies remain behind. LED light is then used to determine the concentration of these proteins.

The chip lab can already measure six of these so-called biomarkers which can indicate certain diseases. Thrombin, one of the first measurable biomarkers, is important for blood clotting. If the concentration of this protein in the blood is too high, a patient is probably more likely to suffer from thromboses.

The chip lab could be ready for the market in about five years, when measuring the amounts of the substances should become even more precise.

For more information, read the article at the Kiel University website.