NOV 20, 2020 2:46 AM PST

'Motorized Sensors' for Disease Detection

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

What would likely increase the survival of a person with a deadly disease? Early detection—although depending on the nature of disease, it is sometimes not possible.

Now, researchers at Cockrell School of Engineering are creating ‘motorized sensors’ to address the problem.

"It's highly important to detect diseases early and accurately, and to do that you need to be able to find very low concentrations of biomarkers," said Donglei (Emma) Fan, associate professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the research published recently in the journal ACS Nano. "And people want to know their results quickly and not have to wait around for hours or days."

The idea of sensors can speed up disease testing and reduce the burden of flooded hospitals. It can potentially give a patient a result in hours as opposed to days.

"Everyone can be their own nurse to some degree, and then if there are any problems they can talk to a doctor," Fan said.

Learn more about current disease detection methods:

Although good news, small sensors often pose an issue as they have a slow turnaround time that decreases the accuracy of a test as result of a contamination risk.

"What we have demonstrated is not the limit," Fan said. "If we spin the sensor faster we can get even quicker detection."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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