Early Diagnosis of Heart Attack by Innovative Membrane Test Strips

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Today, Heart disease remains NO:1 Global health burden, with an alarming mortality rate estimated to be around 17.3 million each year according to “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2015 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association.” Surprisingly, Heart disease causes more deaths than all forms of cancers combined. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. .There are number of risk factors which are becoming the root cause of Heart attack e.g. poor diet, high blood sugar, cholesterol, a relentless habit of smoking, Lack of physical activity. People with cardiovascular disease (CVDS) therefore require routine counselling and medications like aspirin,beta-blockers,angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors,statins and in case of chronic CVDs, costly surgical operations such as coronary artery bypass,balloon angioplasty (where a small balloon-like device is threaded through an artery to open the blockage),valve repair and replacement,heart transplantation,artificial heart operations etc are often recommended.

Based on the rising Global health concerns, there is a dire need for early diagnostic Tech intervention. The science team led by Alexander Osipov, Candidate of Chemical Sciences and Senior Fellow at the NUST MISIS Department for Functional Nanosystems & High-Temperature Materials, has managed to devise one such invention. They have developed membrane strips employing combined qualitative and quantitative immunochromatographic test principles in a simple and effective bioanalytical system, thus improving the quality and accuracy of their results. Tests based on immunochromatography (the most popular of which is a pregnancy test) are extremely easy to use. They are based on the detection of individual substances in biological liquids and the visualization of their presence in the form of colouring or fluorescence on the test-strip, on the “yes-no” principle. These methods encompass all the requirements such as an analysis’s speed of implementation, high sensitivity, and low cost, factors, which make these membranes strips ideal for the rapid and early diagnosis of heart attacks.

“We have improved the technology used for rapid testing: it is now possible to not only identify the presence of certain substances in the body but also to determine their critical number visually. To get a quantitative result, it is necessary to apply one or several drops of a biosample to the test strip and count the number of coloured test lines appearing in the device’s analytical area”, said Alexander Osipov, Senior Fellow at the NUST MISIS Department for Functional Nanosystems & High-Temperature Materials.

“Biological fluid flows on the test strip segment that contains a conjugate (hybrid molecule) labelled with gold nanoparticles or quantum dots of antibodies, then [the test strip] captures it and moves with it along an analytical membrane. The resulting immunocomplexes move along several cross lines containing a second set of antibodies against the defined antigens in increasing concentrations. The binding of labelled immunocomplexes on the carrier, which is visually registered as forms of coloured cross lines [on the test strip] takes place due to the specific interactions of ‘antibody-antigen’. The higher the content of the determining substance in the sample, the greater the number of lines that will appear in the analytical area. Using this approach to analyze, for example, human chorionic gonadotropin in urine, allows us to determine not only the presence but also the stage of a pregnancy”, Osipov explained.

“The use of new types of nanosize gold particles or quantum dots in conjugate with antibodies in the form of so-called ‘nanoclouds’, ‘stars’, ‘popcorn’, and ‘flowers’ allows us to significantly increase the detection limit of analyzed substances in biological fluids. This is fundamentally important in the analysis of the markers of a number of deadly diseases; for example, we can see these processes at work using procalcitonin to detect sepsis. [Monitoring] fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABP) is the most promising way to diagnose early heart attacks. When myocardium (the heart muscle) is damaged, the concentration of FABPs in the blood increases significantly in the first hours [after feeling pain]. The simultaneous determination of early FABP and late (troponin I) Cardiac markers with the use of our new type of rapid-test increases the efficiency of diagnoses and allows doctors to identify hidden forms of heart attacks”, he concluded.

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