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IIT Jodhpur Develops Nanosensor that Diagnoses Disease in 30 Mins

Written by : Nikita Saha

April 9, 2024

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The technology can also be used as a rapid and point-of-care technique for health monitoring, disease diagnosis, prognosis, and immune response tracking.

IIT Jodhpur researchers have developed a nanosensor to track disease progression and offer rapid medical support.

The novel sensor targets cytokines, proteins that help control the body’s inflammation levels, and helps in the rapid diagnosis and progression of various diseases in 30 minutes.

This development aims to reduce the mortality rate occurring due to delayed diagnosis and a lack of early warnings.

Moreover, the technology can also be used as a rapid and point-of-care technique for health monitoring, disease diagnosis, prognosis, and immune response tracking, read a statement from IIT Jodhpur.

Cytokines are one of the many biomarkers of inflammation that are used for diagnosing diseases and tracking their progression. This is why they are important for developing precision medicine and targeted therapeutics for various conditions such as oncology, infectiology, and rheumatological diseases, among others.

Currently used techniques for cytokine detection include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which although reliable are highly time-consuming. These also require trained personnel and a long sample preparation or analysis time that can take over six hours to produce the results.

Talking about the nanosensor and the technique it uses, Prof Ajay Agarwal, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Jodhpur, said, “This technique which is currently in its development stage has provided exciting and encouraging results for three biomarkers Le. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-b (IL-b), and TNF-a are key pro-inflammatory cytokines, released by inflammatory cells.”

Agarwal noted that the testing for controlled samples is done, however, the researchers' team aims to take the technology to clinical trials soon.

Moreover, the group is also using this technique to develop detection protocols for the early stage and quick diagnosis of Sepsis and Fungal infections, he added.

How Does IIT Jodhpur’s Nanosensor Work?

This novel sensor developed at the IIT uses surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect analytes even at low concentrations. Further, it is based on semiconductor process technology and works on the principle of Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS).

Hence, it makes this technique powerful and capable of detecting trace level molecules with high precision and selectivity.

The developed sensor, a rapid and selective diagnostic technique, is used in conjunction with Al for quick and accurate data processing and analysis.

By getting a faster and more robust diagnosis of a person's autoimmune diseases and bacterial infections, this sensor possesses the capability to transform a patient's medical treatment. This way, a patient's disease can be diagnosed and tracked promptly to guide the future course of treating them.

The findings have been published in the 2023 IEEE Applied Sensing Conference (APSCON).

In February, IIT Jodhpur researchers developed a human breath sensor, claimed to be the first of its kind "Made in India" product based on metal oxides and nanosilicon.

The primary purpose of this device is to measure alcohol content in the breath, particularly in cases of drunk driving. However, with adjustments in sensing layers and the incorporation of an array of sensors (resembling an electronic nose), the sensor can also prove invaluable for characterizing various diseases.

This includes asthma, diabetic ketoacidosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, and cardiac arrest, where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath are monitored.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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