New tech uses gold particles, water, DNA powder to detect disease
Researchers from University of Toronto's Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) have come up with a novel use for gold particles to detect infectious diseases.
Medical News Today reports the new technology is similar to over-the-counter pregnancy tests and could help to diagnose illnesses such as HIV and malaria:
The biosensor needs gold particles in the same way as a pregnancy test. Gold particles change the test window red because the particles are associated with an antigen that finds a certain hormone in the urine of a pregnant woman.
[IBBME Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nanobiotechnology, Warren] Chan explained, "Gold is the best medium, because it's easy to see. It emits a very intense colour."
Now, scientists can pinpoint the exact disease they are looking for by linking gold particles with DNA strands – when a sample that has the disease gene is present, it clumps the gold particles – making the sample blue.