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Scientists design a new device to check uric acid using fluorescence

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Uric acid is a compound made of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and is one of the components in urine. High amounts of uric acid in the blood could lead to many debilitating medical conditions such as diabetes and gout. However, detecting the compound in living cells without damaging the cells can be quite a challenge. Now, scientists from Visva- Bharati Santiniketan, West Bengal, Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Howrah and University of Calcutta, Kolkata have devised a novel way of detecting uric acid without disrupting the cell. Using a compound called Naphthyridine, the researchers have devised a probe that can react to the presence of Uric Acid. Naphthyridine is known to exhibit fluorescence in the presence of uric acid, a property that has been exploited to build the probe. The new device is able to detect very low concentrations of uric acid in water and other serum, thus making it suitable for use in medical applications.