Scientists develop Nanosensor for quick detection of Cytokines

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Nanosensor for Cytokines

The researchers have developed a nanosensor that helps in the quick detection of Cytokines, a group of proteins that regulate various cells. Cytokines are one of the many biomarkers of inflammation that are used for diagnosing diseases and tracking their progression and play an important role in tissue damage repair, cancer development and progression, and modulating immune reactions.

This novel sensor developed at Indian institute of Technology Jodhpur uses Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to detect analytes even at low concentrations, is based on semiconductor process technology and works on the principle of Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS).

The development aims to reduce the mortality rate occurring due to delayed diagnosis and a lack of early warnings. Moreover, the technology has immense potential to be used as a rapid and point-of-care technique for health monitoring, disease diagnosis, prognosis, and immune response tracking.

The most widely used techniques currently for cytokine detection are enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These methods are reliable but highly time-consuming. The sensor developed by IIT Jodhpur takes only 30 minutes in comparison and is also cost effective.

Talking about the technique, Prof. Ajay Agarwal, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Jodhpur, said, “This technique which is currently in its development stage has provided exciting and encouraging results for three biomarkers i.e. interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-β (IL-β), and TNF-α which are key pro-inflammatory cytokines, released by inflammatory cells. As of now, the testing is done for controlled samples, but the team aims to take the technology to clinical trials soon.”