Strokes represent the third leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but physicians still lack a simple method to differentiate between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. However, the first few hours post-stroke are a critical period to determine patient treatment; the treatment received during the first three hours post-onset often determines a patient’s long-term prognosis. Alison Baird, of the SUNY Downstate Stroke Center, has located biomarkers in blood that can suggest stroke type. BME’s own Dr. Steven Soper, in collaboration with colleagues from Louisiana State University and with Dr. Baird, has developed a polymer microfluidic device to diagnose ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke using blood. The device can process whole blood and isolate genetic material for two stroke biomarkers, all within minutes. This device has the potential to become a much-needed rapid test for stroke, which could assist doctors in determining the best course of treatment directly after a stroke.
Soper’s work was featured in the weekly news on the American Chemical Society’s website. The full article detailing the research is available through Analytical Chemistry.