Scientists Detect Molecule Indicative of Osteoarthritis Using Nanotechnology


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Scientists from US-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have recently measured a certain molecule that may suggest osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases with the use of a solid-state nanopore sensor.

In a published study by the journal Science Daily, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center claims that the scientists have utilized a “solid-state nanopore sensor” as a technology in analyzing the hyaluronic acid. HA is a naturally occurring type of molecule included in joint lubrication, inflammation, and tissue hydration of the body. A high level of HA in biological fluids indicates an inflammation that may lead to chronic inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis.  The high HA level also suggests the progress of the disease in the body.

The school’s assistant professor of biomedical engineering Dr. Adam R. Hall said that the speed, small sample requirement, and the sensitivity of the approach makes it appealing to be the basis of an analytic tool. During their study, Hall and his team used synthetic hyaluronic acid polymers in verifying their measurement approach.

Further, the team also used the platform in knowing the distribution size of as small as 10 nanograms or one billionth in a gram. “By using a minimally invasive procedure to extract a tiny amount of fluid” from the knee, they have identified a disease or how far it has already progressed, Hall said.