The key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood

The key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood

The team described its findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published online on April 7. The researchers used neutrophil cell function in a clinical study to show accurate asthma diagnosis. is one of the first studies to show that this process could actually work in a cheap, easy and practical way. remains a very difficult disorder to accurately diagnose. Currently, asthma diagnosis consists of a series of clinical tests, often heavily informed by lung functionality tests. measure how much air you can take in, and they measure different chemical components of the respired air, Beebe says.

Many of the current tests for diagnosing asthma rely at least partially on the patient experiencing symptoms during or close to their physician visit. Additionally, all of the diagnostic tests require the patient compliance, which can make diagnosis difficult for the elderly or in children. now, asthma diagnosis is based on indirect measures, Beebe says, is not optimal. So the premise in this paper was that cell function could be used to diagnose asthma and that we could measure cell function in way that was simple and cheap enough to be used clinically. Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell in the body and generally are the first cells to migrate toward inflammation. are sort of like a dog tracking something. They sense a chemical gradient, like an odor, in the body, Beebe says.

In other words, the human body emits chemical signals in response to inflammation or wounds and the neutrophils detect those chemical signals and migrate to the site of the wound cheap jerseys to aid in the healing process. Researchers can track the velocity at which the neutrophil cells migrate the chemotaxis velocity to differentiate nonasthmatic samples from the significantly reduced chemotaxis velocity of asthmatic patients.

Traditionally, a clinical study of neutrophils required so much blood work, specialized equipment and processing that it was impractical to use in diagnostics. However, UW Madison students developed the kit on a lid assay (KOALA) microfluidic technology, which allows them to detect neutrophils using just a single drop of blood.

The KOALA diagnostic procedure is very simple. Using simple lids and bases (each being a small, cheap piece of plastic), diagnosticians place a KOALA lid containing a chemical mixture onto the base containing the blood sample. That chemical mixture triggers neutrophil migration and researchers can automatically track and analyze the neutrophil chemotaxis velocity using custom software.

The technology means doctors could diagnose asthma even if their patients are not experiencing symptoms during their visit to the clinic.

Beebe emphasizes that by using the KOALA lids containing premixed chemicals, the diagnostic procedure is scalable, cheap, quick and repeatable. KOALA platform represents the next generation biomedical research kit, he says. of getting a box of media and staining solution and having to do a lot of manual manipulation, you would get the base for the fluid sample, the prepackaged KOALA lids, and to do any testing, just place a lid (or series of lids) on the base. UW Madison collaborators on the project include recent graduate Eric Karl Heniz Sackmann; Erwin Berthier, a research scientist in biomedical engineering; Elizabeth Schwantes and Paul Fichtinger, allergy and immunology research specialists; Michael Evans, a biostatistician in the department of biostatistics and medical informatics; Anna Huttenlocher, a pediatrics professor; Sameer Mathur, an allergy and immunology associate professor; and Laura Dziadzio, formerly of the UW.