May, 2021 - By WMR
Scientists have developed a probe consisting of fluorescent molecules that glows in presence of some specific enzymes that are associated with cardiovascular issues.
U.K. researchers from Imperial College London have developed a glowing probe that glows due to fluorescence, only in the presence of a specific enzyme (heme oxygenase-1) that is associated with early signs of cardiovascular issues. These enzymes are secreted, when there is an accumulation of plaque inside the arteries that cause serious consequences such as blood clots and stroke later. This buildup of plaque is called atherosclerosis, and is considered as one of the main causes that results in various heart diseases and stroke risks in people, which are sometimes fatal in nature as well.
These plaques cause issues in cardiovascular health when they separate from their arterial walls (this phenomena is known as intraplaque hemorrhages aka IPHs) and later restrict the blood flow, which further leads to cardiac disorders or increases the risk of stroke in an individual. The new probe was developed by the Imperial college London scientists, and it focuses on an enzyme named heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). The enzyme is produced in huge amounts when there is a large amount of intraplaque hemorrhages in an individual’s arteries. This glowing probe then come in contact with the enzyme heme oxygenase-1 and interacts with it, the probe then creates fluorescence, which is six times more, as compared to its natural fluorescence level. The same was demonstrated under lab conditions using E.Coli cells, and the change in the level of fluorescence, when in contact with the specific enzyme was also observed and was detected using a spectrophotometer.
Author Professor James Leiper stated that this technology would help in developing a rapid as well as sensitive test, which could be conducted on patients who show early signs of cardiovascular disorder. Currently, the IPH detection is conducted in hospital’s imaging techniques that are expensive as well as time consuming. Scientists would be doing further studies on this technology using human and mammal cells to provide further evidence on this technology.