Cholecalciferol, or Vitamin D3, is a secosteroid hormone that plays an important role in the regulation of calcium absorption, bone mineralization, and bone mineral density. Vitamin D3 deficiencies can cause rickets and osteomalacia, and have been associated with cardiovascular disease, symptoms of depression, and cognitive deficits. These are common deficiencies for third-world and aged persons. Vitamin D3 is naturally synthesized by the upper epidermis as it is exposed to UVB radiation (290-315 cm-1), and full production can be reached after 10-15 minutes of sun exposure. This depends, however; on skin pigmentation, geographical location, season, and age. Locations of greater latitude, receive less UVB, and sufficient Vitamin D3 synthesis only occurring in the summer.
To facilitate early detection of Vitamin D3 deficiency, Dartmouth scientists have now developed molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP)-based sensor for detecting Vitamin D3 levels in the blood. The MIP-based sensor was produced by spin-coating tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) in the presence of Vitamin D3, so that a gel formed around the template, creating a cavity in the shape of the template. The resulting MIP showed the ability to adsorb Vitamin D3 from different solutions, whereas the control substrate showed little to no adsorption. The newly developed MIP-based sensor finds application in detecting and diagnosing Vitamin D3 deficiency.
These findings are claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner to further refine and market this technology. (Ref: J599)
Last Updated: 7/24/12