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Purdue-IU researchers explore new method for early disease diagnosis

g actually is an easily identifiable isotope, in this case a carbon atom that is heavier than the standard carbon atom. Because we can easily detect this isotope, it causes these tagged metabolites to effectively pop out against the background of all of the others."

In addition to Raftery and Hainline, Narasimhamurthy Shanaiah, M. Aruni Desilva, G. A. Nagana Gowda and Michael A. Raftery, all from Purdue's Department of Chemistry, co-authored a paper detailing this research that was published in the July 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition to its increased sensitivity, the new testing method requires little pretreatment of the sample and roughly 0.5 milliliters of blood to perform the test. The entire test can be performed in about half an hour, providing a quick turnaround for results and treatment decisions for patients, Raftery said.

"It is a very simple process and would not require much training to perform the tests," he said. "It is an easily reproducible test that can be done over and over again, which is important to ensure accurate diagnosis."

Raftery said he plans to continue to work with the IU School of Medicine to perform additional tests on clinical samples, to look at more samples from borderline cases and to examine other diseases.

"This approach is applicable to a variety of molecule types and other fluids, and has the potential for additional applications," Raftery said. "We plan to test more samples and to determine if this methodology proves to be sensitive to cancer and heart disease, as it is for metabolic disorders. We also plan to try other sample types such as tissue."


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Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
18-Jul-2007


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