Nano optics for early detection of heart attacks
With the help of nano-optics, the early detection of heart attacks could possibly be significantly improved in the future, according to the current announcement from the Karl-Franzens-University Graz. In their groundbreaking work, the researchers at the Institute of Physics at Karl-Franzens-Universität in the “PP-BioSens” project together with scientists from the Medical University of Graz and the research company Joanneum Research produced tiny gold particles that detect proteins due to their optical properties can, as they play a central role in early heart attack detection.
The goal of the research team around project managers is Dr. Alfred Leitner from the Institute of Physics at the Karl Franzens University was the development of highly sensitive biosensors that allow a heart attack to be detected quickly and safely. “Proteins, such as myoglobin, are particularly important as biomarkers,” reports the Karl-Franzens-Universität. Its presence in the blood is an indication of the disease and, if discovered in good time, enables an early diagnosis. Proof can be made here using special nano-optic processes.
Nanoparticles reliably measurable The Austrian scientists have already achieved some success in their previous research. For example, Verena Häfele from the Nano-Optics group at the Institute of Physics at Karl-Franzens-University designed and produced gold nanoparticles as part of her dissertation, which can concentrate light in areas of just a few nanometers, which corresponds to the size of the proteins sought. As part of the current project, Dr. Peter Abuja from the Institute of Pathology at the Medical University exemplifies two proteins relevant for the early detection of heart attacks. The nanoparticles were then developed by the chemist Dr. Stefan Koestler and his team at the research company Joanneum Research coated with a molecular layer, which in turn led to an altered scattering of light by the nanoparticles. They could now be recognized using the nano-optics. In doing so, the researchers have “developed a fast and reliable measurement method that allows the detection limits to be shifted right down to the detection of individual proteins, which would enable the diagnosis of diseases at a very early stage,” the university said. (fp)
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