Heart problems and their diagnostics are generally done by expensive machines. These devices also cover up a lot of area and are not what you call “portable”. In order to make the aftermath detection easier, a team of Korean scientists has worked together to make a miniscule thermometer type instrument that can detect the cardiac problem to a reasonable extent.
Once a patient experiences a probable heart attack, it is important to get the heart checked immediately to detect the kind of damage it has done to the blood-pumping organ. There are many conditions in post cardiac arrests that make it essential to operate quickly and limit the damage. But first, the heart needs to be examined. It can be done with he help of CT scans or angiography, both of whom take precious time to release reports. This is why, the Lateral Flow Immunoassay was developed. It is a portable machine that can give results very quickly, but the results weren’t accurate enough.
Professor Sangmin Jeon decided to make an alternative design. It is based on a simple phenomenon. When the cardiac muscles are damaged by the heart, concentration of a protein called troponin increases. This increase can be used to detect the problems in the interior of the heart. To use this device, a sample of blood’s serum is placed in a glass vial along with a solution of troponin antibody functionalized dendritic platinum particles. These particles can capture tiny amounts of troponin present in the serum. Once both these are in the vial, Hydrogen Peroxide is poured into the glass container, and it is sealed.
A reaction occurs between troponin and hydrogen peroxide, resulting in the pressure being increased in the vial. When a capillary tube with ink is lowered into the container, the pressure forces the ink to rise, and we can measure the difference with the help of simple numeric markers that can be calibrated.
This is a very simple, yet effective way to detect the damage in the heart. It can be used by mobile health vehicles and even household people to measure the magnitude of heart attack’s damage adequately as a first response. Let’s hope that this device does reach the masses and many lives will be saved if it does.