A microfluidic device can detect sepsis in minutes with the help of some biomarker beads.
Typically, the proteins that indicate sepsis exist in very low concentrations that are difficult to detect with a simple blood test. To help speed this life-saving diagnosis, researchers from MIT created a microfluidic system that relies on beads to capture the IL-6 biomarker—an early indicator of sepsis. A blood sample is placed in one channel of the device, where it mixes with microbeads laced with antibodies. Those beads are then sent down another channel, where the biomarker beads attach to an electrode. A voltage can then be sent through the electrode to detect the concentration of the biomarker beads.