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Biosensor could help detect brain injuries during heart surgery
Date:11/11/2013

The sensing area is a small square, 3/8ths-of-an-inch on each side. On the surface of the sensor is a layer of antibodies that attract GFAP, the target protein. When this occurs, it changes the physics of other material layers within the sensor, altering the amount of electrical current that is passing through the device. These electrical changes can be monitored, enabling the user to know when GFAP is present.

"This sensor proved to be extremely sensitive," Katz said. "It recognized GFAP even when there were many other protein molecules nearby. As far as we've been able to determine, this is the most sensitive protein detector based on organic thin film transistors."

Through the Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer Office, the team members have filed for full patent protection for the new biosensor. Katz said the team is looking for industry collaborators to conduct further research and development of the device, which has not yet been tested on human patients. But with the right level of effort and support, Katz believes the device could be put into clinical use within five years.

"I'm getting tremendous personal satisfaction from working on a major medical project that could help patients," he said.

Everett, the pediatric cardiologist, said the biosensor could eventually be used outside of the operating room to quickly detect brain injuries among athletes and accident victims.

"It could evolve into a point-of-care or point-of-injury device," he said. "It might also be very useful in hospital emergency departments to screen patients for brain injuries."


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Contact: Phil Sneiderman
prs@jhu.edu
443-997-9907
Johns Hopkins University
Source:Eurekalert  

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