Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Rewriting Life

Nano Test for Heart Attacks

Improved protein detection is key.

Every year, thousands of heart attack victims are sent home without treatment by emergency-room doctors because tests don’t show clear signs of a problem, such as elevated levels of proteins released into the blood by dying heart cells. But an ultrasensitive detector, expected to be widely available for clinical evaluation later this year, could save lives by recognizing those proteins at a thousandth the concentration that current methods can detect – or even less. The device, built by Nanosphere of Northbrook, IL, is based on research by Northwestern University chemist Chad Mirkin, who developed a way to coat gold nanoparticles with selectively “sticky” substances, such as DNA strands constructed to bind with complementary target DNA in a sample. When the nano-particles, stuck to their targets, attach to a microarray that also bears complementary DNA, a digital camera can scan them to find the sample’s DNA concentration. A similar method, using antibodies as the glue, can measure protein concentrations.

Nanosphere’s device detects proteins in minute quantities. (Courtesy of Nanosphere)

Clinical trials are now testing techniques that could be used to diagnose previously undetected heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Nanosphere’s CEO, Bill Moffitt, says the device could reveal levels of telltale Alzheimer’s proteins in the blood at concentrations “undetectable by any other technology.”

Be the leader your company needs. Implement ethical AI.
Join us at EmTech Digital 2019.

Register now
More from Rewriting Life

Reprogramming our bodies to make us healthier.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.