Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

New Biochip Holds Great Promise for Quickly Triaging People After Radiation Exposure

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Chip could lead to a much-needed way to quickly triage people after possible radiation exposure.

He led the multi-institutional team that developed the panel of radiation-sensitive blood proteins.

“The goal is to give medical personnel a way to identify people who require immediate care. They also need to identify the expected much larger number of people who receive a dose that doesn’t require medical attention,” Wyrobek adds.

Currently, the most common way to measure radiation exposure is a blood assay called dicentric chromosome assay that tracks chromosomal changes after exposure. Another approach is to watch for the onset of physical symptoms. But these methods take several days to provide results, which is far too late to identify people who’d benefit from immediate treatment.

The new, much faster method comes about thanks to a collaboration between scientists from radiation biology, biostatistics, and engineering disciplines.

Over the past several years, Wyrobek and colleagues in Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division have explored the biochemical signatures of radiation dose. They’ve identified more than 250 proteins that change after exposure. These proteins can serve as biomarkers that indicate whether a person has been exposed to radiation, and by how much. What’s been lacking is a platform that puts these biomarkers to use.

Meanwhile, in the laboratory of Stanford University’s Shan Wang, researchers have pioneered the use of magnetic nanoparticles and giant magnetoresistive sensors for bio-detection. These sensors are coated with molecules that are designed to capture other “target molecules.” The sensors produce electrical signals when the target molecule, followed by a magnetic nanoparticle, attach to it. In this way, a person can detect the presence of nanoscale objects such as proteins — even though the objects are invisible to the naked eye.

The two groups began working together a couple of years ago. Wyrobek’s team supplied antibodies for two protein biomarkers of radiation exposure. Wang’s team incorporated these antibodies into magneto-nanosensors. They also created a smaller-than-a-penny-sized chip with 64 of these sensors. A shoebox-sized chip reader connects the chip to an electronic circuit board. The chip reader can be linked to a laptop or smartphone for easy readout.

They tested the system using blood from mice that had been exposed to radiation. Here’s how it works: A drop of blood is placed on the chip. The biomarker proteins in the blood attach themselves to an antibody on one of the chip’s 64 magneto-nanosensors. A second step adds detection antibodies and magnetic nanoparticles to each “captured” protein. The sensors recognize the nanoparticles’ presence, and send electronic signals to the circuit board that indicate the number of proteins present.

“You add a drop of blood, wait a few minutes, and get results,” says Wyrobek.

Their proof of principle test matched results obtained via a widely used molecule-detection test called an ELISA assay. It also worked up to seven days after exposure.

“It’s very satisfying to see that the assay, based on magneto-nanosensors, has validated the radiation dose response of the protein markers identified by the Berkeley Lab team,” says Wang.

The scientists next hope to add antibodies for additional proteins to the chip so it can detect the presence of even more biomarkers.

The research was funded primarily by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Personalized Drug Screening for Multiple Myeloma Patients
A personalized method for testing the effectiveness of drugs that treat multiple myeloma may predict quickly and more accurately the best treatments for individual patients with the bone marrow cancer.
Metabolic Profiles Distinguish Early Stage Ovarian Cancer with Unprecedented Accuracy
Studying blood serum compounds of different molecular weights has led scientists to a set of biomarkers that may enable development of a highly accurate screening test for early-stage ovarian cancer.
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Promise of Newborn Stem Cells to Revolutionize Clinical Practice
In this article Shweta Sharma, PhD, discusses the potential of an Umbilical Cord Blood bank as an untapped source of samples for research and clinical trials.
New Anti-Malarial Drug Screening Model
University of South Florida researchers demonstrate novel chemogenomic profiling to identify drug targets for the most lethal strain of malaria.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos