The technique is simple, user-friendly and yet scientific as it involves FAPB3, a blood biomarker that accumulates on the skin to forewarn the possibility of heart attack and the invention was made by an Indian teenager.
Meet Akash Manoj, 17, from Tamil Nadu, a south Indian state who has just finished his schooling but received the unique honour of being a guest of President of India Mr. Pranab Mukherjee under the Innovation Scholars In-Residence Programme.
When FABP3 accumulates on skin capillaries, it can be detected by ultra-violet (UV) rays absorbed by skin and read by a sensor based on how much of the light was absorbed by proteins. “FABP3 is one of the smallest proteins that can be present in blood, and is charged negatively.
I used these properties in this technique,” said Akash Manoj, who has developed the testing method that consists of a silicone membrane similar to the skin capillaries, and a drop of a solution of proteins albumin when FABP3 will simulate blood and help the diagnosis.
“Silent heart attacks are extremely deadly and alarmingly common these days. In these cases, almost no symptoms are evident and thus people look so healthy to us,” Manoj, recollecting how his grandfather collapsed on July 3rd 2015 due to heart attack.
This gave an impetus for Akash to find a solution as it is quite impossible to detect the FABP3, an optimal biomarker for Cardiac ischemia. Hence, his model to enable biomarker-based diagnosis for silent heart attacks which allows at-risk patients themselves to frequently analyse their blood for these proteins.
Manoj Model: How it Works?
While conducting the experiment, Akash found that it is possible to transcutaneously detect FABP3, a biomarker of heart attack-associated cardiac ischemia, in the blood through a two-step process. FABP3 is one of the smallest proteins that can be present in blood, and is charged negatively so it attracts to positive charges. He used these properties to identify it in blood without puncturing the skin.
When positive electric potential is applied to a thin and translucent area of skin (here, the external ear), FABP3 is the only protein that attracts to the positive charge being the smallest and therefore the most sensitive protein that can be present in the blood. What follows next was the UV quantification process to determine the potential of a heart attack and consult the doctor beforehand, with immense potential to change the diagnosis method of cardiovascular disease.