Sepsis is one of the world’s leading causes of deaths, affecting millions of people across the globe. It is a condition that arises when the body responds to an infection in an abnormal way, which ends up destroying healthy cells, tissues and even organs in severe cases. Moreover, it is also rather difficult to diagnose in its early stages. But researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a technique that could not only make the detection of the deadly disease easier but also much faster and cheaper.
It involves a sensor that detects the presence of certain types of proteins in the blood, which are early warning signs that foretell the occurrence of sepsis. One protein, in particular, called interleukin-6 appears in the blood hours before any symptom and its early detection could enable doctors to carry out required treatments and save lives.
The sensor developed by the scientists at MIT is able to diagnose sepsis using nothing more than a tiny droplet of blood, perhaps less even than that drawn from a finger prick. Moreover, it produces results in less than half an hour. This technique employs components that are cheaper, durable, and smaller, making it fit for deployment in outdoor environments. It is a boon for millions of people worldwide. This type of sensor also carries the potential to diagnose early symptoms of numerous types of diseases.