As life expectancy increases worldwide, age-related diseases such as osteoporosis are having an increasing impact.
Although early detection helps doctors intervene as soon as possible—when treatment can provide the best benefit—this type of detection is not yet possible with current osteoporosis diagnostic tests. Now, researchers reporting on ACS Central Science developed a biosensor that could one day help identify those most at risk of osteoporosis using less than a drop of blood.
Early intervention is essential to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with osteoporosis, a condition characterized by a high risk of bone fractures and affecting about 54 million people in the US, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. The most common technique used to measure changes in bone mineral density (BMD)—dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry—is not sensitive enough to detect BMD loss until significant damage has occurred.
Several genomic studies, however, have reported genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Using this information, Ciara K. O’Sullivan and colleagues wanted to develop a portable electrochemical device that would allow them to quickly detect five of these SNPs in finger-prick blood samples. step towards early diagnosis.
The device includes an electrode array to which fragments of DNA for each SNP are attached. When lysed whole blood is applied to the array, any DNA that matches the SNPs binds to the sequences and is amplified by recombinase polymerase that includes ferrocene, a label that facilitates electrochemical detection. Using this platform, the researchers detected SNPs associated with osteoporosis in 15 human blood samples, confirming their results with other methods.
Because DNA does not need to be purified from blood, analysis can be done quickly (about 15 minutes) and inexpensive (less than $0.5 per SNP). Additionally, because the equipment and reagents are easily accessible and portable, the researchers say the device offers great potential for use in point-of-care settings, rather than being limited to a centralized laboratory.
The technology is also versatile and can be easily adapted to detect other SNPs, as researchers have previously shown to detect drug resistance in Tuberculosis mycobacterium from sputum and cardiomyopathy risk from blood. Although the device doesn’t diagnose osteoporosis itself, it may help doctors identify people they need to monitor more closely.
Mayreli Ortiz et al, Generic Platform for Multiplexed Targeted Electrochemical Detection of Osteoporosis-Associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Using Recombinase Polymerase Solid-Phase Primer Elongation and Ferrocene-Modified Nucleoside Triphosphates, ACS Central Science (2023). DOI: 10.1021/accentsci.3c00243
Provided by the American Chemical Society
Citation: Research team develops biosensor that could lead to quick and cheap test for osteoporosis risk (2023, July 19) retrieved on July 19, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07 -team-biosensor-quick-inexpensive-osteoporosis .html
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