The Early Detection of the heart attack is possible - Seeker's Thoughts

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The Early Detection of the heart attack is possible


The microfluidic device can detect the biomarker even at low concentrations.

Many people die every year due to cardiac arrest and delay in understanding cardiac arrest.  If you talk about the United States, 600,000 people die from heart disease every year-that is one in four deaths.

 Every year, 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. Fifteen percent of people who have a heart attack will die from it.

According to the Lancet report published in September 2018 India the second most populous country has witnessed an alarming rise in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer in the past 25 years. 




The prevalence of heart disease and stroke has increased by over 50% from 1990 to 2016 in India, with an increase observed in every state.

During the heart attack, the only help is done by the cardiac biomarkers. 




What is Cardiac Biomarker?

Cardiac biomarkers are substances that are released into the blood when the heart is damaged or stressed automatically. This works as an indication that the heart is going to face the trouble. 

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

What happens after the heart attack?

The heart cells that get damaged during a heart attack cause the expression of cardiac muscle proteins such as the biomarker cardiac troponin I, which get released into the blood. Detecting the biomarker in the blood serum helps in early diagnosis of a heart attack.

Cardiac Troponin l

When it is elevated in these individuals, it indicates an increased risk of future heart events such as heart attacks. 


When a person has a heart attack, levels of cardiac-specific troponins I and T can become elevated in the blood within 3 or 4 hours after injury and may remain elevated for 10 to 14 days.

The early discovery of Cardiac Troponin I will help in tackling heart stroke.

A cardiac biomarker — cardiac troponin I — that is widely used for early diagnosis of acute heart attack can now be detected in about three minutes and even when present at very low concentration. And the detection can be done at the bedside.

How is it possible to detect the heart attack?

This has become possible with the development of a microfluidic device by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad.

The Microfluid is Superior as it helps in early detection

Commercially available assays have limitations in terms of both sensitivity and time taken for detection. These assays cannot detect when the biomarker is present at concentrations below 0.02 nanogram per ml and take a long time for detection.

 In contrast, the microfluidic device developed by the team led by Renu John from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad can detect the biomarker even when the concentration is as low as 0.005 nanograms per ml.

The device can detect the biomarker over a wide range — from 0.005-100 nanogram per ml according to Prof. John. Serum samples from patients were used for testing the device. The results were published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B.

Commercially available assays as well the microfluidic device use the same antibody to bind to the biomarker. But the way the device has been constructed makes the difference in terms of better sensitivity and rapid detection.

Rapid detection

The researchers have successfully integrated the microfluidic device with chitosan-coated nickel vanadate nanospheres to enable rapid detection and better sensitivity.

The outer surface of the nanospheres is first coated (functionalized) with the antibody that binds to the biomarker. Since the nanospheres have a greater surface area, more antibodies are present on the surface thus increasing the chances and ability to bind to the biomarker.

The functionalized nanospheres are then coated on the working electrode that is present in the microfluid device chip.


The integration of the nanospheres which detect the biomarker with the compact. microfluidic device speeds up the detection process. When the patient’s serum is introduced into the microfluidic device, the biomarker present in the serum binds to the antibodies present in the nanospheres. This causes a change in the current flow at a microampere level. 

The electrochemical response of the sensor changes in response to a change in the concentration of the troponin I biomarker causing a change in the current flow.

The Microfluid device is a Bedside device

Since the microfluidic device can be made tiny, detection of the biomarker can be made right at bedside.






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