Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks are Detected using Single-use Sensor Strips

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks are Detected using Single-use Sensor Strips

Rapid clinical testing for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks following trauma, surgery, tumors, and other problems is critical since such leaks can lead to life-threatening diseases such meningitis and intercranial infection.

Detecting such breaches with primary traditional approaches, such as immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can take hours or days. Secondary procedures, such as optical techniques that rely on MRI, frequently fail to determine the precise location of the leak.

Researchers created a one-time-use sensor strip that may be used in conjunction with a circuit board to detect cerebrospinal fluid leaks. They gathered nine clinical samples and injected the test fluid into a tiny liquid channel on the sensor strip’s tip. The electrodes in the liquid channel contained antibodies specific to proteins identified only in human cerebrospinal fluid. The signal was evaluated by the circuit board, which produced a four-digit number that corresponds to the concentration of the protein beta-2-transferrin found in CSF.

Researchers have created a small digital biosensor that can detect leaks in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in less than one second at the point of care. Rapid clinical testing for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks following trauma, surgery, tumors, and other problems is critical since such leaks can lead to life-threatening diseases such meningitis and intercranial infection.

We were shocked to see that not only did our detection approach produce the result in one second, but that our detection limit was also far more sensitive for a very diluted concentration than existing detection methods.

Minghan Xian.

The novel test design, which employs a single-use sensor strip put into a circuit board with a four-digit readout, resembles a handheld glucometer and is powered by a 9-volt battery. According to the paper’s authors, led by Minghan Xian of the University of Florida, the new device is faster and more sensitive than traditional methods for detecting CSF leaks, which typically require a clinical laboratory, can take hours or days to return results, and frequently fail to identify the specific leak site.

Detecting such breaches with primary traditional approaches, such as immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can take hours or days. Secondary procedures, such as optical techniques that rely on MRI, frequently fail to determine the precise location of the leak.

Researchers from the University of Florida and Yang Ming-Chiao Tung University created a single-use sensor strip that may be used with a circuit board, similar to a hand-held glucometer, to detect CSF fluid leakage in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B by AIP Publishing.

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Single-use sensor strips detect cerebrospinal fluid leaks

Cerebrospinal fluid is found in the brain and spinal cord and performs important physiological tasks like shock absorption and waste elimination. CSF connects the extracranial space to the subarachnoid area, which contains the primary cerebral blood arteries.

CSF is a watery fluid found in the brain and spinal cord that performs vital physiological activities like shock absorption and waste elimination. CSF can sometimes leak out through the nose or ear following trauma or surgery, resulting in potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis and intracranial infection. Congenital abnormalities, obesity, excessive intracranial pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea are some of the other causes of CSF leaks.

CSF leaks are more likely to occur as a result of obesity, excessive intracranial pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea, in addition to trauma, surgery, and congenital malformations. Cerebrospinal leaks can occur through the nose or through the ears.

“We were shocked to see that not only did our detection approach produce the result in one second, but that our detection limit was also far more sensitive for a very diluted concentration than existing detection methods,” stated co-author Minghan Xian.

The researchers took nine human clinical samples from a Florida hospital and placed them in a small liquid conduit on the tip of the sensor strips. The electrodes in the liquid channel were coated with antibodies specific to proteins present only in human cerebrospinal fluid. After inserting the test fluid into the liquid channel, a few brief electrode pulses were sent through the electrodes. The signal was then evaluated by the circuit board, which produced a four-digit number that corresponded to the concentration of the protein beta-2-transferrin found in CSF.

The researchers were able to detect beta-2-transferrin in fluid samples from different patients and even when other proteins and salts were present. Similar method was utilized by the researchers to discover proteins in SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The next stage of their research will concentrate on detecting cancer and heart disease biomarkers.

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