A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks

May 13, 2008 | Source: Technology Review

University of Texas at Austin researchers are testing a “nano-biochip” made of silicon that could detect heart attacks based on the proteins found in a patient’s saliva.

The dime-sized chip, read in a toaster-sized analyzer, could be used concurrently with EKGs in ambulances.

Heart attacks are currently diagnosed by biomarkers in the blood and electrocardiograms. EKGs miss a large number of heart attacks, particularly those with lesser or atypical symptoms. A blood test done in the hospital increases the accuracy of the diagnosis, but requires time for the blood to be drawn and analyzed.