We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Technopath Clinical Diagnostics - An LGC Company

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

New Analyzer Monitors Blood Ammonium Levels at POC to Facilitate Quick Medical Decisions

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Nov 2022
Print article
Image: The POC device could facilitate monitoring of hereditary and hepatic metabolic disorders (Photo courtesy of UAB)
Image: The POC device could facilitate monitoring of hereditary and hepatic metabolic disorders (Photo courtesy of UAB)

Ammonium is a biomarker used to diagnose a series of rare hereditary metabolic disorders, such as the primary disorders of the urea cycle and different organic acidemias, as well as other metabolic and environmental conditions affecting the liver’s function, which can cause a secondary dysfunction of the urea cycle. Ammonium is also useful in the study and monitoring of different hepatopathies (diseases affecting the normal functioning of the liver) caused by the consumption of alcohol or other drugs, medicines and other environmental factors. In all of these disorders, an excess of ammonium is produced, putting the patient’s health at risk. Values surpassing 200 micromoles per liter of blood are considered severe cases of hyperammonemia (high concentration of ammonium in blood) which can cause irreversible damage to the brain, and can even lead to death, if values surpass 500 micromoles per liter. Therefore, an early diagnosis in real time is crucial to minimizing the impact of a hyperammonemia episode on neurological functions. Currently, patients diagnosed with disorders which include hyperammonemia episodes must periodically be visited at hospital, where a blood sample is taken, which then must be treated an analyzed in the lab.

Now, researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB, Barcelona, Spain) have developed an analyzer that monitors the level of ammonium in the patient’s blood using a decentralized method at the point-of-care, instead of sending blood samples to be analyzed in hospital laboratories, where traditional equipment is used. The new device aims to decentralize the blood ammonium determination, making the analysis possible at smaller healthcare centers with direct blood measurements and no need for previous treatments. This would represent multiplying the number of monitoring sites, simplifying the process and reducing the time needed to take medical decisions.

The device uses a microfluidic platform which includes a potentiometric detection system and a gas separation membrane. In this manner, it is possible to automatically separate the ammonium in the form of ammonia from the rest of the complex matrix of blood, obtaining a selective detection free of any other type of interferences. This guarantees a precise and exact determination of ammonium concentration in whole blood and not in plasma, which is the method conventionally used to analyze this parameter. The research team is preparing a prototype that will function under semi-autonomous conditions. Once the device is ready, it will measure all ammonium samples analyzed with the conventional method and with the new equipment created by researchers.

“Increasing the frequency of blood analyses to determine ammonium levels is of vital importance,” explained UAB researcher Mar Puyol, director of the study. She goes on to say that: “Reducing the excess of ammonium in a patient with hyperammonemia is done by restricting protein intake, using drugs to enhance ammonium elimination, and dialysis and hemofiltration in the most acute cases, so that the evolution of the patient will be more favorable the faster the doctors act, and that can be achieved by using the point-of-care analyzers such as the one we have developed.”

Puyol warns that “hundreds of samples will be necessary before the final prototype of the point-of-care analyzer is validated. The next stage will then be industrializing the device to launch it into the market. There are still several stages before reaching that scenario, but the device is expected to become an economic alternative that can facilitate the monitoring of liver diseases in developing countries as well.”

Related Links:
UAB 

Gold Supplier
Hematology Workflow Solution
DIFF-Line
New
Serratia Marcescens Test
CHROMagar Serratia
New
Cellular Allergen Stimulation Test
CAST ELISA
New
POC Molecular Diagnostics Analysis System
ClariLight CL30

Print article
SUGENTECH INC.

Channels

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: A cheap blood test could improve diagnosis of myocarditis (Photo courtesy of Queen Mary University of London)

First-Ever Blood Test Could Detect Deadly Heart Inflammation Within Hours

Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, is a difficult condition to diagnose. Symptoms include a temperature, fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath, which can all be easily mistaken for... Read more

Microbiology

view channel
Image: Ring-form trophozoites of Plasmodium vivax in a thin blood smear (Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Immune Regulators Predict Severity of Plasmodium vivax Malaria

Cytokines and chemokines are immune response molecules that display diverse functions, such as inflammation and immune regulation. In Plasmodium vivax infections, the uncontrolled production of these molecules... Read more

Pathology

view channel
Image: Breast cancer spread uncovered by new molecular microscopy (Photo courtesy of Wellcome Sanger Institute)

New Molecular Microscopy Tool Uncovers Breast Cancer Spread

Breast cancer commonly starts when cells start to grow uncontrollably, often due to mutations in the cells. Overtime the tumor becomes a patchwork of cells, called cancer clones, each with different mutations.... Read more

Industry

view channel
Image: With Cell IDx’s acquisition, Leica Biosystems will be moving its multiplexing menu forward (Photo courtesy of Leica Biosystems)

Leica Biosystems Acquires Cell IDx, Expanding Offerings in Multiplexed Tissue Profiling

Leica Biosystems, a technology leader in automated staining and brightfield and fluorescent imaging (Nussloch, Germany), has acquired Cell IDx, Inc. (San Diego, CA, USA), which provides multiplex staining... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.