Bioanalysis Zone

Could a paper test strip help monitor heart failure?


Researchers have developed a new test strip that could allow monitoring of heart failure at home. In a new study, published in ACS Nano, the research team describe how a paper test strip could allow patients diagnosed with heart failure to monitor disease progression at home.

According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that 6 million individuals in the USA live with heart failure, with 1 million being hospitalized each year. It is hoped that these hospitalizations can be reduced through careful monitoring of the condition, allowing treatment to be adjusted.

By analyzing the levels of specific biomarkers for heart failure – ST2 and BNP – doctors can track a patient’s disease progression and adjust treatment. At present, a trained professional and laboratory equipment are required to monitor these biomarkers.

However, researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University (Shaanxi, China) have developed a new simple paper test that could monitor these biomarkers at home. The test, which requires a blood sample of only 10 μl, shows fluorescence of different colors depending on the biomarkers present in the sample. If ST2 is present a blue dot glows and if BNP is detected a green dot glows: the higher the biomarker concentration, the more intensive the colour is.

The readout on the paper test can be analyzed utilizing a smartphone app, which can then send the results to the patient’s doctor informing them of any required treatment adjustments. In total, researchers tested 38 serum samples from individuals with heart failure, which demonstrated that the paper test closely matched conventional techniques.

Sources: You M, Lin M, Gong Y et al. Household fluorescent lateral flow strip platform for sensitive and quantitative prognosis of heart failure using dual-color upconversion nanoparticles. ACS Nano. doi:10.1021/acsnano.7b02466 (2017)(Epub ahead of print);



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