A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood. A team of researchers from the University of Illinois and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, completed a clinical study of the device, which is the first to provide rapid, point-of-care measurement of the immune system's response, without any need to process the blood. This can help doctors identify sepsis at its onset, monitor infected patients, and could even point to a prognosis, said research team leader Dr. Rashid Bashir, a Professor of Bioengineering at the U. of I. and the Interim Vice Dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. The research findings were published online on July 3, 2017 in Nature Communications. The open-access article is titled “A Point-of-Care Microfluidic Biochip for Quantification of CD64 Expression from Whole Blood for Sepsis Stratification.” Sepsis is triggered by an infection in the body. The body's immune system releases chemicals that fight the infection, but also cause widespread inflammation that can rapidly lead to organ failure and death. Sepsis strikes roughly 20 percent of patients admitted to hospital intensive care units, yet it is difficult to predict the inflammatory response in time to prevent organ failure, said Dr. Karen White, an intensive care physician at Carle Foundation Hospital. Dr. White led the clinical side of the study.
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