David Hage, a professor of chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has spent many years developing ways to quickly and accurately measure the protein levels in blood samples for the sake of diagnosing traumatic brain injuries, and through a new collaboration, he may be on the verge of delivering the most significant tool in recent medical history. Thanks to a partnership with SFC Fluidics and NUtech Ventures, Hage hopes to soon announce the creation of a handheld device that will be able to test blood instantly after an accident or injury to determine if brain damage has occurred.
Hage’s expertise is in microfluidic study, which means that he works with the smallest possible blood samples. Obviously, that can provide a greater measure of difficulty when trying to determine how severe a brain injury is, but he and the two companies believe that they will soon be able to use this device to extract a tiny blood sample and almost instantly determine the severity, according to Medical Xpress.
“So if you have a test that is fast enough to detect this protein in a few minutes, you can tell pretty quickly if someone with a potential head injury has to go back to the hospital or if they’re OK to keep doing what they’re doing,” Hage said. “Having a fast test for this process would help improve the likelihood of successful treatment and having a good outcome for the individual.”
It has been repeatedly proven that time is crucial in diagnosing the severity of a TBI, which is why this device could not only save lives, but also help people receive immediate treatment in order to stave off unnecessary advancement of harmful inflammation and damage to the blood-brain barrier or beyond.
“This project is a great example of how a university researcher can partner with industry to create real value,” Conrad said. “It will take the combination of Dave Hage’s innovative approach and SFC Fluidics’ platform technology to create the diagnostic device, and the result has the potential to help a lot of people.”
This research and collaboration is also being sponsored by the United States Department of Defense, as the Armed Forces continues to develop and promote early diagnosis of TBI among service men and women.