Micro-device could pick up early signs of heart attack or stroke

Micro-device can pick up early signs of heart attack or stroke

Credit: University of Sydney

In Australia, about 55,000 people have a heart attack each year, and a similar number suffer a stroke. Many are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the heart, often in at-risk individuals without any physical warning.

However, long before a heart attack or stroke occurs, small changes in the blood begin to take place. Often, blood flow is disrupted, leading to blood clotting and inflammation that can clog blood vessels.

Award-winning biomedical engineer from the University of Sydney, Dr. Arnold Lining Ju, is developing a biomedical microdevice to detect these subtle changes in platelets before a heart attack or stroke.

Using a pinprick test, the microdevice would take a blood sample from a person’s finger. The sample would then be analyzed for platelet clotting and white cell inflammatory responses, information that would be immediately processed by an external operating system.

“How this device would work is that a person at risk, for example someone with heart disease, would use it on a daily basis,” said Dr. Ju from the Sydney Nanoscience Hub and the Faculty of Engineering.

“Using a fingerstick test, the device would check their blood and alert them to potentially dangerous changes. If a change was detected, they would have to present for more monitoring in a hospital,” said Dr. Ju, who is also a group affiliate of the Heart Research Institute’s Thrombosis Group.

The study is part of a long-standing collaboration with the Director of Cardiovascular Research, CPC of the Heart Research Institute, Professor Shaun Jackson.

Professor Jackson said: “We hope this device will shed light on why and how blood clots form, which, if successful, could one day be used in a range of health scenarios.”

The new facilities of the University’s School of Biomedical Engineering will enable further technical development of the microdevice, which is based on an integrated microfluidic chip.

dr. Ju works with a team of Ph.D. students to build highly sensitive computational fluid dynamics simulations to better understand the impact of mechanical forces that can lead to blood pooling and clots.

Biomedical Engineering student Yunduo Charles Zhao said: “In the near future, we plan to apply artificial intelligence to understand a person’s blood work with the aim of creating a personal blood profile of that person.”

Research assistant Laura Moldovan said it has historically been difficult to predict when a heart attack or stroke might happen: “They seem to happen randomly, sometimes without physical symptoms, but in fact there are small physical changes that occur in the blood — the key. until this device is capable of sensitively tracking these microscopic changes.”

Diagnostic device can prevent strokes and heart attacks

More information:
Lining Arnold Ju et al, Microfluidic post method for three-dimensional modeling of platelet-leukocyte interactions, the analyst (2022). DOI: 10.1039/d2an00270a

Provided by the University of Sydney

Quote: Micro-device may pick up early signs of heart attack or stroke (June 2022, June 21) retrieved June 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-micro-device-early-heart.html

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