Researchers at Toyohashi Tech in Japan have developed a novel semiconductor-based imaging system for the early detection of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Each disease creates specific proteins in the blood to which the body reacts. Conventional methods used for monitoring these antibodyantigen reactions from blood samples employ fluorescent probes to detect fluorescence with microscopic cameras. This process, however, is time-consuming because the fluorescence-measuring probes can’t detect low concentrations of antigens when the fluorescence intensity is too low to be detected optically.
The Toyohashi Tech biosensing technology uses a charge coupled device (CCD) sensitive to extremely small changes in electric potential. Also, microbeads are being used on which antigen-antibody reactions take place, making detection sensitivity even greater. The image sensor consists of 128×128 pixels that independently sense minute electrical changes.
In addition, multiple diseases can be simultaneously diagnosed by placing different antibodies on different sensing pixels out of a total of 16,384 pixels (128×128). The system is easy to use, low-cost, quick and highly sensitive.