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Stanford team develops a method for easier, more accurate diagnosis for type 1 diabetes

Published: 10/10/14
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Twitter summary: A new technology from Stanford has potential for easier, more accurate, & cheaper diagnosis for #t1d

A team of Stanford University researchers, with the support of JDRF, has developed a potential new tool to diagnose type 1 diabetes. The new chip technology is described in a Nature Medicine paper and is able to detect important markers of type 1 diabetes (“autoantibodies”) with a high degree of sensitivity and accuracy in a small blood sample. This brings potential to accurately diagnose type 1 diabetes much earlier, and by extension, help preserve patients’ beta cells.

Most impressively, the new chip method is able to detect autoantibodies in an extremely small amount of blood (~2 microliters), which means a potential diagnosis could be conducted with just a fingerstick instead of a blood draw. This would be especially welcome for participants in Diabetes TrialNet, a program that screens siblings of people with type 1 diabetes and other participants at risk for type 1 diabetes.

The inventors are forming a startup called IGIstat to further develop and commercialize the technology, which also has the potential to make tests faster (waiting less than 90 minutes for results) and cheaper (~$5 per test) compared to current options. There is a ways to go before this is commercially available, but it would be welcome for patients and families with type 1 diabetes – NL

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