Scientists detect disease with gold-based nanostructures




A group of scientists has found a way to detect diseases by using a gold structure on a nanoscale. The pores in the gold acting as a kind of sieve for the detection of pathogenic micro-organisms.

Gold Structure UC Davis The material was developed by scientists at the University of California at Davis. They describe a nano structure, which is built on the basis of gold atoms to which can be detected, for example, from blood samples or there pathogens are present. The structure of the gold atoms, which is described by the scientists as a kind of sponge, because it contains small pores, with a diameter that is a thousand times smaller than that of a human hair. As a result, biological material may as it were be ‘sieved’.

Specifically, the scientists with their nanomaterials like DNA and other genetic material to detect. The pores are in fact too large to let through, for example, proteins, but the cord-like DNA molecules can pass through the barrier well. Thus, no expensive laboratory equipment need for blood samples ‘clean’. Of course, there remains equipment is required in order to detect what exactly to genetic material is in the sample. As a result, the gold structure to be combined with other sensors for the detection of specific pathogens.

The scientists hope to be able to put their technology into mobile devices for detecting diseases. This can be for patients, but also in agriculture and horticulture. With such a device could, for example, can be quickly detected if a plant is infected with pathogens. It is unclear when the scientists expect to be able to use their technology in practice.

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