Researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a new, cheaper and more accurate way to diagnose asthma. Even the mild cases of asthma will soon be identified using just a single drop of blood.
The researchers used neutrophil cell function in a clinical study to show accurate asthma diagnosis. The research took advantage of a previously unknown correlation between asthmatic patients and the white blood cells in the body. The researchers developed the kit-on-a-lid-assay (KOALA) microfluidic technology, which allows them to detect neutrophils using just a single drop of blood.
According to David Beebe, a UW-Madison professor of biomedical engineering and co-author on the research paper, it is one of the first studies to suggest that the diagnose process of asthma could actually work in a cheap, easy and practical way. He added that they have found that neutrophil cell function in some cases can suggest if someone is asthmatic or not. If the test turns out positive, you can measure how much air you can take in and look if chemical components in the respired air.
Asthma remains a very difficult disorder to accurately diagnose. As of now, asthma diagnosis consists of a series of clinical tests, often heavily informed by lung functionality tests. The tests that are being used also rely at least partially on the patient experiencing symptoms.
The study was published in the journal PNAS.
Article source: Business Standard
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