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Researchers Develop Portable Blood Ammonia Detector

Oct, 2020

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The device offer an easier and faster way to detect blood ammonia levels that may reach dangerous levels in individuals with genetic conditions.

Blood ammonia levels can quickly rise to dangerous levels in individuals with liver disease or genetic conditions. However, checking blood ammonia levels is not an easy or fast process. Now, the researchers have developed a new portable device that can be used to detect blood ammonia levels. Ammonia is usually processed by the liver into urea and excreted from the body in urine. Ammonia in the blood may cause physical and mental dysfunction, and is a concern for individuals with liver disease or other metabolic disorders that impede ammonia metabolism.

The new portable device could be beneficial for people with such metabolic diseases, especially for newborns. The device offers an easier and faster way to detect blood ammonia levels that may reach dangerous levels in individuals with such genetic conditions. Problems can occur when an individual's body is unable to metabolize that ammonia sufficiently, causing it to accumulate in the bloodstream. Mental and physical problems may occur if the condition is left untreated. Currently, a cold-store blood sample is required to be taken to the laboratory to test blood ammonia levels, as well as people have to wait for hours for results.

Keeping in this mind, the research team from Stanford University has developed a portable detector that delivers results in less than a minute. The newly developed device need a single drop of blood to detect and measure ammonia levels in the blood using an integrated sensor. However, currently, the device is in the prototype form. Moreover, the new ammonia detector has been tested on blood samples drawn from individuals with high levels of ammonia. The results were the same as those were obtained through traditional methods. The research was published in the ACS Sensors journal.

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