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Saliva can help diagnose heart attack, study shows
Date:4/16/2008

AUSTIN, TexasEarly diagnosis of a heart attack may now be possible using only a few drops of saliva and a new nano-bio-chip, a multi-institutional team led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin reported at a recent meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

The nano-bio-chip assay could some day be used to analyze a patient's saliva on board an ambulance, at the dentists office or at a neighborhood drugstore, helping save lives and prevent damage from cardiac disease. The device is the size of a credit card and can produce results in as little as 15 minutes.

Many heart attack victims, especially women, experience nonspecific symptoms and secure medical help too late after permanent damage to the cardiac tissue has occurred, says John T. McDevitt, principal investigator and designer of the nano-bio-chip. Our tests promise to dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of cardiac diagnosis.

McDevitt, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, collaborated with scientists and clinicians at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

McDevitt and his collaborators took advantage of the recent identification of a number of blood serum proteins that are significant contributors to, and thus indicators of, cardiac disease.

Leveraging microelectronics components and microfabrication developed initially for the electronic industry, they developed a series of compact nano-bio-chip sensor devices that are biochemically-programmed to detect sets of these proteins in saliva.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry tested saliva from 56 people who had a heart attack and 59 healthy subjects for 32 proteins associated with atherosclerosis, thrombosis and acute coronary syndrome. They found these proteins were in higher concentrations in saliva of heart attack
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Contact: Dr. John McDevitt
mcdevitt@mail.utexas.edu
512-471-0046
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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