Towards simple, rapid point of care testing for clinically important protein biomarkers of sepsis

Steel, Lynsey and Ward, Andrew C and Jeffrey, Caitlin and Alcorn, David and Corrigan, Damion K (2017) Towards simple, rapid point of care testing for clinically important protein biomarkers of sepsis. SCIOL Biotechnology, 1 (1). pp. 1-8. (

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Sepsis is characterised by a dysregulated immune response following infection with a micro-organism. Treating and managing sepsis relies on fast and accurate diagnosis followed by introduction of the correct medications and supportive measures. Biosensor measurements for sepsis typically take the route of identification of the infectious agent and/or monitoring of a clinically relevant biomarker such as lactic acid or C Reactive Protein (CRP). In this work, we have used low cost Screen Printed Electrodes (SPEs) in conjunction with antibodies for interleukin-6 and Enterotoxin A to demonstrate the possibility of measuring these two sepsis related biomarkers in 10 minutes at clinically relevant concentrations (pg/mL). The clinical utility in this approach lies in the time to result and the relative simplicity of the assay. Current biomarker testing, especially in near real time, is absent from many intensive care wards and these results demonstrate the possibility of realising such measurements. The method of sensor production employed in this study is generic and therefore can be applied to a panel of similar sepsis biomarkers on a wide variety of electrode substrates. These results demonstrate a clear direction towards a simple multi-marker assay for sepsis which can assist with diagnosis, triaging and clinical management of the condition as it progresses and recedes.