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Patent Granted for Nanotech Medical Diagnostic Technology

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Medical diagnostics developer T2 Biosystems in Lexington, Massachusetts has received a U.S. patent for its sensor technology based on magnetic nanoparticles. Patent 8,102,176 was issued on 24 January by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to W. David Lee, a program officer at MIT’s Koch Institute for Cancer Research and a founder of T2 Biosystems.

The patent covers technology detecting target substances with magnetic resonance measurement, specifically devices having nuclear magnetic resonance coils near wells holding liquid samples. The samples are mixed with magnetic nanoparticles that self-assemble or disperse in the presence of the target substance. Sensors of this kind could be used in portable or point-of-care diagnostic devices, or even implanted devices.

T2 Biosystems says the patent covers its core magnetic resonance technology. The device, says the company, measures signals from the nuclear spins of hydrogen atoms in water molecules. The biosensor uses a small magnet and specialized radio frequency pulses generated by a coil to measure the signal from the water molecules.

The company demonstrated the technology in October at a meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America in Boston. In two separate presentations at the meeting, according to the company, the T2 Biosystems sensors detected Candida fungus infections in whole blood within two hours. Tests for the Candida pathogen normally take two to five days.

Read more: Engineers Build Compact Diagnostic Biosensor

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