Organic Sensor to Analyse Inflammation

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Researchers at the University of Hong Kong demonstrated an ultrathin device that can speed up blood sampling process by 30 times

A research team at the University of Hong Kong has developed a C-reactive protein (CRP) sensor integrated onto a medical catheter for direct CRP sensing. The sensor holds potential applications in testing and curing inflammation.

Anticipated benefits

It has been estimated that the organic sensor has a total thickness of less than one micrometre. Researchers said that this can save the time for sample and data collection, bringing it down from a few hours to ten minutes approximately.

They also advocated that the real-time signal readout can allow doctors to take necessary actions immediately. The research has been done to demonstrate the concept of measuring biological information in real-time.

Acceleration of inflammation testing

The CRP level acts as an indicator to reflect the level of inflammation present. The team said that the device can sense the CRP level down to 1ug/mL and provide real-time information of the patients. This can present alternatives to the current performance of an hourly blood analysis.

The developed CRP sensor is just an example to demonstrate the concept of ultrathin devices. Its proposed compatibility with the standard sterilization processes can make it an appropriate tool to be used with surgical instruments.

Supplementary research

Additionally, the team developed a CTYOP encapsulation layer to help the device withstand high pressure, temperature and moisture environment. Researchers suggested that the capsule can enable the device’s functionality even in boiling water or hot steam.

They also developed a hydrophilic-hydrophobic double layer plastic substrate which can be separated from the glass holder once in touch with water. This can allow the transfer of the sensor onto different substrates.

The team also aims at improving the sensing power of the devices by integrating neurotransmitter and pressure sensors onto the catheter. This sensor can benefit the hospital operation features by changing the frequency of tests for blood analysis.