Scientists in London have developed a new technology that can be used to measure hormones which affect fertility, sexual development, and menstruation more quickly and at a lesser price. This new robotic sensor technology is described in the journal Nature Communications and was tested on patients at Hammersmith Hospital in the UK.
Reproductive health problems such as infertility and early menopause are usually diagnosed by carrying out a simple blood test that measures the amount of luteinising hormone in the sample, said researchers at Imperial College London in the UK and The University of Hong Kong.
These blood tests cannot easily measure the rise and fall of LH levels which are necessary for normal fertility. Additionally, the analysis of these samples is time-consuming as the blood needs to be sent to a laboratory and testing is expensive.
The researchers who started this trial have used a new biosensor linked to a robotic system, which is called Robotic APTamer-enabled Electrochemical Reader (RAPTER.)
The team thinks that this could pave the way for more personalised medicine and hope that the technology can be developed to give clinicians a clearer picture of LH pulsatility and suggest more effective treatments based on an individual’s need.
"Our technology will be able to give clinicians a faster and more accurate diagnosis of hormone pulsatility that affects reproductive health, which could lead to better and more targeted treatments for women.” Said Professor Walhit Dhillo, Professor at Imperial College, London.
THE RAPTER platform gives an immediate reading and is able to detect changes in LH pulse patterns in patients with reproductive disorders. It is also able to distinguish between different patient cohorts for the first time using this technology.