We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Novel Diagnostic Hand-Held Device Detects Known Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Nov 2023
Print article
Image: The new eye-safe laser technology can diagnose traumatic brain injury (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: The new eye-safe laser technology can diagnose traumatic brain injury (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

The growing need for prompt and efficient diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major cause of mortality globally, has spurred the development of innovative diagnostic technologies. TBI, resulting from sudden trauma to the head, ranges from mild to severe brain injuries. Rapid diagnosis is crucial to prevent further irreversible damage. Traditional radiological methods like X-rays or MRIs, while useful, tend to be costly and slow to yield results. Now, researchers have pioneered a groundbreaking device that detects TBI through a safe laser directed into the eye. This method stands apart from conventional diagnostic techniques and is expected to be developed into a portable device for immediate assessment in the critical ‘golden hour’ following a TBI when treatment decisions must be taken.

Developed by the University of Birmingham, this hand-held device offers a swift, precise, and non-intrusive diagnostic tool for TBI. It does not create any additional discomfort for patients and can quickly provide information on the trauma's severity. Designed for on-site usage – be it roadside accidents, battlefield injuries, or sports-related traumas – the device is equipped with a class 1, CE-marked, eye-safe laser and a unique Raman spectroscopy system. This system employs light to reveal the biochemical and structural characteristics of molecules based on their light-scattering properties, detecting known biomarkers indicative of brain injury.

The device functions by scanning the back of the eye, where the optic nerve is located, leveraging the close connection between the optic nerve and the brain. The optic nerve carries vital biological information in the form of protein and lipid biomarkers. These biomarkers, usually existing in a tightly regulated balance, undergo changes during TBI, indicating potential issues. Previous studies have proven the technology's efficacy in detecting variations in these biomarkers in animal brain and eye tissues under different brain injury levels. The current device creates ‘molecular fingerprints’ by detecting and analyzing the composition and balance of these biomarkers.

The prototype built by the researchers can analyze the optic nerve's biochemical fingerprints to initially diagnose TBI on the scene. The researchers tested the device using a phantom eye for alignment and focusing capabilities, animal tissues to distinguish between TBI and non-TBI states, and developed AI-based decision support tools for rapid TBI classification. The device is now poised for advanced testing, including clinical feasibility, efficacy studies, and evaluating patient acceptability. The diagnostic tool is expected to be developed further into a portable technology that will be ideal for point-of-care situations and swiftly determine the occurrence and severity of TBI, thereby enabling appropriate and timely triage.

“Early diagnosis of TBI is crucial, as life-critical decisions on treatment must be made with the first ‘golden hour’ after injury,” said Professor Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham. “However current diagnostic procedure relies on observation by ambulance crews, and MRI or CT scans at a hospital – which may be some distance away.”

Related Links:
University of Birmingham

Gold Member
Gold Member
12-Channel ECG
Silver Member
Compact 14-Day Uninterrupted Holter ECG
Ultrasound Doppler System
Doppler BT-200

Print article


Critical Care

view channel
Image: The treatment involves boosting the plasma activation of hydrogel dressings (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Breakthrough Electrochemical Technology to Revolutionize Treatment of Internal Wounds and Cancerous Tumors

Worldwide, over 540 million people live with diabetes, and about 30% of these individuals are likely to develop a foot ulcer at some point in their lives. Managing chronic wounds, including diabetic foot... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: Endovascular thrombectomy has been found to be beneficial for large ischemic stroke (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Endovascular Thrombectomy Improves Clinical Outcomes for Patients with Large Ischemic Stroke

A new study has found that endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) can improve clinical outcomes for patients with acute ischemic stroke and large cores as compared with medical management. Researchers from Case... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The newly-launched solution can transform operating room scheduling and boost utilization rates (Photo courtesy of Fujitsu)

Surgical Capacity Optimization Solution Helps Hospitals Boost OR Utilization

An innovative solution has the capability to transform surgical capacity utilization by targeting the root cause of surgical block time inefficiencies. Fujitsu Limited’s (Tokyo, Japan) Surgical Capacity... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.