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Aptamers: developing a novel technology for hormone measurement

Aptamer technology is an entirely new approach to measure chemicals in the body (hormones, cytokines) in real time. We are at a frontier for the development of this technology.

Currently, hormone measurements are made by drawing a blood sample, that is then placed in a detection device, or is sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. Sending samples to a laboratory means that the result is not known until after the patient has left the clinic, with delays usually being several days.

We intend to develop an entirely new technology, which is called aptamer technology. An aptamer is a chemical that generates an electrical or optical signal when it binds to a hormone. Aptamers can record hormone release in real-time.  The electrical or optical signal is transmitted to a smart device and wirelessly communicated to a phone or computer.

We will begin by applying this new technology to the measurement of the stomach hormones, serotonin and ghrelin. In future it may be possible to apply the technology to the measurement of other hormones.

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