By Danny Halpin via SWNS
Doctors may soon be able to diagnose eye diseases by analyzing tears, according to a new study.
Researchers have developed a nanomembrane system which harvests and purifies tiny blobs called exosomes from tears and allows them to check for signs of disease.
Dubbed iTEARS, the system could lead to more efficient and less invasive diagnoses for disease and conditions without relying on symptoms alone.
Currently, diseases are identified by assessing a patient’s symptoms, which can slip by undetected in the early stages or be unreliably reported.
Other methods of testing samples of proteins or genes could improve the accuracy of diagnoses but they are long and complicated and need large sample volumes.
Tears are much better suited for samples because the fluid can be collected quickly and non-invasively, although only tiny samples can be harvested at a time.
Study co-author Dr. Luke Lee said: “Exosomes with membrane structures can encapsulate and protect their cargos, thus becoming a promising source for disease early detection.
“Tears can be non-invasively and self-collected from patients for exosome analysis.
“However, the tear-exosome-based disease analysis has rarely been reported so far.
“Recording exosomes from trace samples for further analysis is necessary in exploring the tear-exosome-based disease world.”
Dr. Lee, Dr. Fei Liu and colleagues wondered if a nanomembrane system which they had originally developed for isolating exosomes from urine and plasma would work for tears.
Publishing their findings in ACS Nano, the team modified their original system to handle the low volume of tears.
The new system, called Incorporated Tear Exosomes Analysis via Rapid-isolation System (iTEARS), separated out exosomes in just five minutes by filtering a tear solution over membranes and changing the pressure to stop them clogging.
Researchers tagged proteins from the exosomes with fluorescent markers while they were still on the device and then transferred them to other instruments for further analysis. They also extracted and analyzed nucleic acids.
Through this they were able to distinguish between healthy people and patients with various types of dry eye disease.
iTEARS also allowed the researchers to see differences in microRNAs between patients with a condition called diabetic retinopathy and those without any condition, suggesting that the system could help track how disease develop.
The team says the work could lead to a more sensitive, faster and less invasive diagnosis of various disease – using only tears.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
How Pixar-style cars with cute eyes could help prevent road deaths
Researchers built a real vehicle prototype with robotic eyes called “gazing car."
Nearly half of Americans claim they can’t survive without Wi-Fi
This story version has been formatted as an on-air script for broadcast outlets. See the original research story here. NEARLY...
‘World first’ hybrid seaglider vehicle completes test flights
"This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation."
Whole neighborhoods flooded as Hurricane Ian makes its way through Florida
"Some streets are dryer."
Labrador pups dumped on side of road to be trained as sniffer dogs
"Dogs with jobs! What an absolutely perfect outcome after a wretched start."
- Fashion & Beauty2 days ago
Influencer shares trick to curling hair without curling iron
- Outer Space2 days ago
Astronaut takes enchanting picture of ‘space angel’
- Outer Space14 hours ago
Otherworldly images captured at SpaceX launch
- Food & Drink2 days ago
Where is the ‘hangriest’ place in the United States?
- Pets4 days ago
Nearly 80% say the best part of their day is coming home to their pet
- Home2 days ago
Retired couple accidentally discover green way to keep their house warm
- Nature4 days ago
World’s largest collection of rare orchid discovered growing along military base
- History17 hours ago
Research reveals humans used ‘high-tech’ glue 100,000 years ago