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A team of international researchers led by Prof Martin Hegner developed an automated diagnostic platform that indicates thrombotic risks or cancer in one drop of blood.

13 July 2018

A team of international researchers led by Prof Martin Hegner, Investigator in CRANN and Trinity’s School of Physics developed an automated diagnostic platform that indicates bleeding - and thrombotic risks in one drop of blood within seconds.

They exploit micro-resonators for real-time measurements of the evolving blood plasma clot strength. Along with the clinically measured clotting time, other parameters, from specific factor deficiency to global coagulation parameters to assess fibrinolysis, can be extracted. These technical developments now open up the possibility to introduce a miniaturized global haemostasis assay with capability to fine-tune anti-coagulation therapies (left image).

Automated diagnostic platform

In collaboration with the multinational Hoffman-la-Roche they report a novel strategy for quick, reliable and quantitative diagnostics of expression patterns of non-coding short RNA in blood plasma or cell cultures. They directly detect label-free specific miRNA biomarkers relevant to cancer and adverse drug effects in blood-based samples (right image).

Prof Hegner’s work focuses on development of innovative nanotechnological automated diagnostic platforms that underpin the next generation medical devices. The collaboration with the multinational Hoffman-la-Roche, a world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, enabled this scientific study and provides the possibility to further miniaturize this device for portable point-of-care testing for the market and society.

Prof Hegner commented, "This has significant implications for a non-invasive, rapid and personalised diagnosis using nanomechanical sensors".

Published in Nanoscale a high impact peer reviewed journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.