Microfluidics device developed for sepsis diagnosis

An automated, microfluidics device has been developed by the researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. It will help in the detection of sepsis with 25 minutes.

Sepsis is caused by the body’s immune response to infection and characterized by an inflammation chain reaction. Septic shock and organ shut down can be caused due to this condition. It is currently diagnosed by blood, imaging and lab tests.

Protein biomarkers, in previous research showed the potential in early detection of the condition. In the observation, it was seen that the protein namely interleukin-6 (IL-6) increases hours before appearance of other symptoms.

MIT researchers observed that standard assay devices cannot quickly detect the protein levels in blood. So, they created microfluidics device which can automatically identify clinically significant IL-6 levels for sepsis diagnosis.

The researchers developed the device by shrinking magnetic-bead-based assay’s components onto an automated microfluidics device and coated the beads with IL-6 attracting antibody.

It contains eight separate microfluidic channels and requires approximately five microliters of blood and can capture IL-6 concentrations  as low as 16 picograms per milliliter to detect sepsis in around 25 minutes.