Urology Today.net

Site updated at Thursday, 12 May 2016

Common Urological Problems

How far urine flows in a tiny tube says a lot about your health

  • - Urology / Nephrology News
  • Oct 28, 2014
  • Comments
  • Viewed: 2209
Tags: |

When you flush the toilet, you may be discarding microscopic warning signs about your health.

But a cunningly simple new device can stop that vital information from “going to waste.”

Brigham Young University chemist Adam Woolley and his students made a device that can detect markers of kidney disease and prostate cancer in a few minutes. All you have to do is drop a sample into a tiny tube and see how far it goes.

That’s because the tube is lined with DNA sequences that will latch onto disease markers and nothing else. Urine from someone with a clean bill of health would flow freely through the tube (the farther, the better). But even at ultra-low concentrations, the DNA grabs enough markers to slow the flow and signal the presence of disease.

“In a disease state, this particular marker is equal to about one billionth of a percent of the content of urine.” Woolley said. “We can detect close to those levels. If we can get below that, it would give us better sensitivity for somebody at an early stage of the disease.”

Grad students Debolina Chatterjee and Danielle Mansfield co-authored the study for the journal Analytical Methods using synthetic urine samples. The next step is to do human trials with this “lab on a chip.”

The method holds several advantages over current tests for prostate cancer: No blood draws, instant results and potentially higher accuracy.

Story Highlights

  New device screens for kidney disease, prostate cancer on the spot
  The tiny tube is lined with DNA sequences that latch onto disease markers in urine
  While healthy samples flow freely, a diseased sample gets clogged and stops short of the mark

Men who get their blood screened for a prostate specific antigen are really only learning whether their prostate is enlarged, and sometimes cancer is the cause.

But the BYU device works only when there is an exact match to a disease marker that is 22 RNA bases long. Harmless material that closely resembles the disease marker doesn’t sound a false alarm.

“The flow distance is about 20 to 40 millimeters longer if just one of those 22 letters is wrong,” Woolley said.

Although the new study specifically looked at prostate cancer and kidney disease, this same method could be used to make a diagnostic tool for other diseases.

“In a urine sample there can be millions of different sequences of micro-RNA and what we need to do is find the ones related to a disease,” Woolley said.

Bookmark and Share

Post a comment [ + Comment here + ]

There are no comments for this entry yet. [ + Comment here + ]

Your details

* Required field

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Comments are moderated by our editors, so there may be a delay between submission and publication of your comment. Offensive or abusive comments will not be published.

zytiga5 - psa testing3 - busm1 - imrt2 - neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin1 - secondary tumor1 - heart risk1 - pelvic inflammatory disease2 - autoimmune diseases1 - american society for radiation oncology4 - special la coke1 - srtr1 - kidney damage7 - adrenocortical carcinoma1 - prostatectomy7 - birth weight1 - institute of cancer research1 - bacteriuria2 - hlya1 - aggressive treatment1 - ultrasound examination1 - ips cells1 - estradiol deficiency1 - urine production1 - intermittent therapy1 - prostate serum antigen1 - potassium "wastage" syndrome1 - uterine cancer4 - female urethra1 - concentrated urine1 -