Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Nanobots and Blood Clots

MIT researchers have combined nanomedicine with urine tests to provide a cheap, safe, and noninvasive way to determine a patient's risk of blood clots.  Using mice as their test subjects, the researchers injected an iron oxide nanoparticle into the blood stream that could safely travel throughout the body.  The particle is coated with peptides that detect thrombin, the enzyme that causes blood clots.  When thrombin is detected, the peptides break off and are filtered out into the patient's urine.  The urine is then tested for the presence of the peptides, with higher peptide levels indicating a higher level of thrombin in the blood and therefore a higher risk for severe blood clots.

The test can be used as a one-time test for patients displaying symptoms of blood clots, but it is also cheap enough that it could be used as a daily test for those patients suspected of a high risk of blood clots, given a way to test their urine at home.

I found this article interesting because the lead author of the research, Sangeeta Bhatia, is planning to create a company based on this technology.  As up-and-coming bioengineers, it is important to keep up with new companies because they provide job opportunities for us in the future.  Also, the author believes that by continuing work in this area, the same technology could be used to detect cancer and/or other diseases.  Personally, I am very interested in cancer research and am interested to see if the technology is successful in that area of medicine.



Post a Comment

<< Home