New Test Developed to Help for Earlier Detection of Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers from the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital are reporting on the development of a novel fluorescence-based test for sensitive detection of antibodies within microliter volume serum samples that is at least 50 times more sensitive than the current gold standard in detecting type 1 diabetes.

The newly developed technology allows for use of a very small sample, and the increased sensitivity could lead to more accurate determination of the onset of type 1 diabetes, and potentially allow for some medical intervention.

"This is a clever combination of the several existing techniques, the result of which is a more sensitive, non-radioactive, clinically-relevant assay," said senior author Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital. "It is our hope that this technique will become a useful tool for early detection of Islet Cell Autoantibodies (ICA) in at risk patients, which could lead to intervention before significant loss of islet cell mass."

The team reported their findings in the journal Technology.

Photo: Med Scape, Birmingham

The test measures Islet Cell Autoantibodies in at risk patients.