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New rapid heart attack test that could save lives

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Researchers in South Korea say a single drop of blood will allow patients who have suffered a serious attack on receive the treatment they need more quickly.

Each year 230,000 Britons suffer a heart attack – which is the leading cause of death in the UK.

This occurs when a coronary artery is blocked by a blood clot. The heart continues to pump blood, but the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood without urgent treatment can become permanently damaged, leading to heart failure.

Most patients admitted to the hospital with chest pain are given blood tests to measure the level of cardiac troponin, a protein that leaks into the bloodstream when the heart muscle is damaged.

However, the blood sample can take more than an hour and the test should be repeated. It can take up to 12 hours so that doctors can see the results of both tests.

However, the new innovation could be done immediately to the bedside. The use of nanotechnology, the team from the National Institute of Science and Technology Ulsan built a microscopic immunosensor electrical – measuring about half the thickness of a human hair. It contained two pairs of electrodes concentration and detection.

main study, Professor Jaesung Jang said the sensor differs from a similar technology under development.

He said, “Because the new design of this immunosensor, this device is able to quickly diagnose heart attacks at the point of care.”

More than 1.1 million people come to the emergency services in the UK each year with chest pain – but only 16 percent actually have suffered a heart attack. cutting-edge technology could see patients with less severe disease, such as angina or indigestion, leave the hospital before expected.

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said. “This research describes a new way of measuring troponin in the blood that may have advantages over current methods The further research is needed now. ”

The results are published in biosensors and bioelectronics.

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