- Heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood into the organs.
- Simple paper-based test strip has been developed for heart failure patients to self-monitor their condition.
- The results of the paper test has been found to match with the conventional methods closely.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to pump enough blood to the organs. The condition can usually be managed with medications and other lifestyle changes.
A research team has developed a new test strip which could allow patients to self-monitor their condition at home.
‘Paper-based test strip could help heart failure patients to monitor their condition at home.’
The research study was published in the journal ACS Nano.
According to the American Heart Association, around 6 million people in the United States were found to live with heart failure and around 1 million hospitalizations occur every year due to heart failure.
Tracking the patient's condition after diagnosis is essential to provide proper treatment for heart failure and prevent emergency room visits. Antigens such as ST2 and BNP (Brain Natriuretic peptide) are good indicators of heart failure. Currently, analyzing the levels of these biomarkers would require both trained personnel and sophisticated lab equipment.
Feng Xu, Min Lin along with his research team wanted to devise a simple test that could enable doctors and patients to carry out the analysis at the office or home.
A paper-based test requires only a small blood sample of 10 microliters. The strip glows with a blue dot if ST2 is present in the sample and a green dot would glow if it contains BNP.
The intensity of the color increases with the concentration and indicates a person's heart failure that is likely to become worse.
Smartphone app could analyze the readout and send the results to the patient's doctor. This could help to adjust the patient's treatment.
By testing 38 serum samples from people with heart failure, the paper test was found to closely match with the conventional techniques.
Heart failure could be chronic and sometimes may be acute. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the legs
- Irregular heartbeat
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Chest pain
- MinLi You, Min Lin, Yan Gong, Shurui Wang, Ang Li, Lingyu Ji, Haoxiang Zhao, Kai Ling, Ting Wen, Yuan Huang, Dengfeng Gao, Qiong Ma, Tingzhong Wang, Aiqun Ma, Xiaoling Li, Feng Xu. Household Fluorescent Lateral Flow Strip Platform for Sensitive and Quantitative Prognosis of Heart Failure Using Dual-Color Upconversion Nanoparticles. ACS Nano, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b02466
- Chronic heart failure - the facts - (https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/heart-conditions/chronic-heart-failure-the-facts)