In Australia each year, approximately 55,000 people suffer a heart attack, with a similar number suffering from stroke. Many are caused by blood clots that block the flow of blood to the heart, often in at-risk individuals without any physical warning.
However, long before a heart attack or stroke occurs, tiny changes in the blood begin taking place. Often, blood flow is disturbed, leading to blood clotting and inflammation which can block blood vessels.
Award-winning University of Sydney biomedical engineer Dr. Arnold Lining Ju is developing a biomedical micro-device to detect these subtle platelet changes before a heart attack or stroke takes place.
Using a pin-prick test, the micro-device would take a blood sample from a person's finger. The sample would then be analyzed for platelet clotting and white cell inflammation responses, information that would be immediately processed by an external operating system.
[...] Research assistant Laura Moldovan said that, historically, it has been difficult to predict when a heart attack or stroke might happen: "They appear to occur at random, sometimes without any physical symptoms, however in fact there are tiny physical changes that occur in the blood—the key to this device is being able to sensitively monitor these microscopic changes."
Lining Arnold Ju, Sabine Kossmann, Yunduo Charles Zhao, et al. Microfluidic post method for 3-dimensional modeling of platelet–leukocyte interactions, Analyst, 2022. DOI: 10.1039/D2AN00270A