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Asthma diagnostic based on neutrophil chemotaxis speed

A handheld microfluidic device that measures neutrophil chemotaxis speed could help diagnose asthma. The device separates neutrophils from whole blood and stimulates neutrophil chemotaxis with a chemoattractant. It detected decreased chemotaxis in neutrophils from mildly asthmatic patients compared with neutrophils from nonasthmatics with allergic rhinitis. Using a threshold chemotaxis speed of about 1.55 mm/min, the test accurately diagnosed 22 of 23 patients with asthma and 8 of 11 nonasthmatic controls. Next steps include using the test on broader patient populations with different inflammatory disorders that may affect neutrophil function.

SciBX 7(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.508
Published online May 1, 2014

Patent applications filed; licensed by Salus Discovery LLC; available for partnerships to develop improved bioassay solutions

Sackmann, E.K.-H. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online April 7, 2014;
Contact: David J. Beebe, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.