Pain-free Future of Biomarker Diagnostics
Biomarker testing has become an increasingly important aspect of healthcare. By analysing a simple blood sample, physicians can determine if a patient is suffering from an infection, an inflammatory condition or even a heart attack.
The caveat? Well, most people would just rather avoid needles.
Luckily, the same biomarkers found in blood are also present in low quantities in the dermal interstitial fluid surrounding our cells. New research published in Nature Biomedical Engineering has developed a highly sensitive microneedle patch that can be applied to the skin, capture a biomarker of interest and detect its presence.
This new technology is low cost, easy to use and offers a pain-free alternative to blood draws. Additionally, the patch offers physicians the opportunity to observe biomarkers over time. Researchers noted this will be of particular importance when evaluating how immunity plays out for new diseases, rapidly screening patients in the ER or ambulance and monitoring chronic conditions.