Blood itself comprises of various potential biomarkers to diagnose an illness. However, the process of blood test which then leads to in-depth analysis is a bit challenging. Many patients become anxious when lab personnel draw blood from them. Besides, many tests requires the separation of plasma from serum. To overcome this, researchers at American Chemical Society have created a skin patch for such tests. This patch consist of small needles which would collect samples of interstitial fluid, painlessly.
Interstitial fluid (ISF) is a liquid, which occupies the empty space between the cells in body. This fluid consist of some of similar biomarkers that are found in blood, along with some unique ones. But, ISF doesn’t have those clotting agents and cells which intensifies blood analysis. Team of researchers, recently created a microneedle patch, which can make the process of ISF sample extraction painless and easy.
SERS Methods to Direct Analyze the ISF Samples
The liquid collected by these needle patches pass through a multi-level procedure of centrifugation, biomarker extraction, sample analysis and loading for biomarker detection. Mark Prausnitz, and Srikanth Singamaneni, with their colleagues aimed to channelize this process. Sample ISF are now capable of being studied with Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) directly. SERS method quantifies and detects the molecules with the help of nanomaterials scattering lights.
The skin patch contained 9 micro-needles, with a diameter of a human hair. It is less than a millimeter long. The gadget also had a strip of plasmonic papers which comprised gold nanorods.