New, non-invasive scanner images the hand to detect cholesterol levels

November 30, 2021
New, non-invasive scanner images the hand to detect cholesterol levels

Long-term blood lipid detection and management has not been easy as the traditional indicator, low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), is prone to fluctuate with the influence of diet, exercise, and weight. Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Science and Technology of China have devised a new system that is claimed to provide cholesterol readings simply by imaging the skin of the hand. The system is expected to help with the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a leading cause of death globally.

The non-invasive system, now in clinical application, can assess cholesterol content in skin which has a close relationship with atherosclerotic CVDs. Skin cholesterol is also known to fluctuate less over a short period of time.

“Just put your hand on, and the system will tell you the cholesterol data,” said engineering professor Wang Yikun. “As cholesterol is one of several types of fats (lipids) that play an important role in your body, we can track your fats in this simple way.”

The detection system is said to contain a detection reagent and detection device. This reagent, which relates to a fluorescent group, can specifically bind to skin cholesterol – the amount of binding reagent on skin surface is positively correlated with the content of cholesterol.

After combining with skin cholesterol, the test site (hand) is irradiated with excitation light with a specific wavelength, and the fluorescence spectrum can be inverted to the information of skin cholesterol content. In this way, the skin cholesterol is easily obtained.

The technology has been proven accurate when tested on 121 patients with acute coronary syndrome, their bloodstream cholesterol levels already measured via traditional methods. It is now hoped that the system could be used for long-term non-invasive monitoring of such patients.

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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