Researchers at MIT and Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University are using oxidized graphene heated at relatively low temperatures to isolate and analyze single cells from small blood samples. The findings, published in the journal ACS Nano, could lead to inexpensive diagnostic devices that can test for cancer and other diseases.
As reported in MIT News, the researchers used specially treated sheets of graphene oxide in a process called low-temperature annealing, creating a bond between selected compounds and the surface of the graphine oxide. The compounds then target and bond with molecules of diagnostic value, including DNA, proteins and individual cells. The method could lead to simple diagnostic devices that cost under $10 and can be used anywhere.
“Efficiency is especially important if you’re trying to detect a rare event,” Belcher says. “The goal of this was to show a high efficiency of capture.” The next step after this basic proof of concept, she says, is to try to make a working detector for a specific disease model. In principle, Bardhan says, many different tests could be incorporated on a single device, all of which could be placed on a small glass slide like those used for microscopy.”
Source: MIT News
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