Multiple analytes on one instrument
Multiple sample types
All-in-one test cartridge
Automatic self-check system
No additional calibration necessary
Throughput: 480 tests/hour 580 tests/hour with ISE
Test items on board: 36 items + ISE 3 items
Reaction volume: 120– 300 micro-liter
Patient samples on board: 72 patient samples, 30 STAT samples
Reaction volume: 140– 300 micro-liter
Test items on board: 24 items + ISE 3 items / 36 items + ISE 3 items
Patient samples on board: 30 patient samples
Throughput: 270 tests/hour 450 tests/hour with ISE
R1: 140 ～ 300μl (1μl step）
R2: 20 ～ 260μl (1μl step）
News and Announcements
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in men and women in the USA, and each year 735,000 Americans have heart attacks that damage the heart muscle, and of those, an estimated 120,000 die. About one in five heart attacks are "silent," yielding no symptoms, but symptoms such as chest tightness or pain, dizziness, nausea and fatigue are good reasons to seek immediate evaluation. Among the diagnostic tools to detect heart attacks are blood tests that measure levels of various proteins released into the bloodstream when heart cells are injured. Two of these are cardiac troponin and creatine kinase-myocardial band (CK-MB).
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA) and the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) have compiled peer-reviewed evidence and crafted a guideline designed to help physicians and medical centers stop the use of a widely ordered blood test that adds no value in evaluating patients with suspected heart attack. The clinical and financial implications of institutions continuing CK-MB testing are significant, say the authors, who estimate that all blood tests for diagnosing heart attacks add USD 416 million each year to the cost of care. The team also cites studies showing that in addition to its diagnostic value, troponin testing is a more definitive predictor of in-hospital mortality and severity of disease. Professional guidelines concluded that CK-MB provides no additional diagnostic value for diagnosing heart attacks. It was found that 77% of nearly 2,000 laboratories in the U.S. still use CK-MB as a cardiac damage biomarker.
Jeffrey Trost, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and the corresponding author of the study, said, “This article is the first in a series of collaborative multi-institutional publications designed to bridge knowledge to high value practice. We present multiple quality improvement initiatives that safely eliminated CK-MB to give providers reassurance about trusting troponin levels when managing patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome.” The study was published on August 14, 2017, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.Related Links: LabMedica
Researchers have developed a highly portable, low-cost immunoassay technology that enables low limits of detection (LoD) by combining solid-phase microextraction membranes, gold nanoparticle labels, and surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Their prototype device successfully measured a liver cancer biomarker at LoD within only ~2 minutes. The team is also working to lower the cost to ~ USD 3 per test. The assay can likely be easily modified to detect infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue fever.
Currently, testing for liver cancer involves lab-based blood tests and ultrasound imaging, both of which require traveling to major cities and can often cost more than a month’s salary in low- and middle-income countries. The research team, led Prof. Marc Porter and surgeon and Prof. Courtney Scaife of University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), developed a test for hepatocellular carcinoma that doesn’t involve sending a specimen to a blood lab and cuts the wait time for results from 2 weeks to 2 minutes. This inexpensive test can be administered wherever the patient is, which would be particularly valuable in developing nations with little access to hospitals.
The new test measures alpha-fetoprotein (a widely-used marker used to screen individuals for hepatocellular carcinoma) directly from human serum at an estimated LoD of 3 pg/mL. The device uses a small domino-sized plastic cartridge containing a paper membrane that selectively traps protein biomarkers from biological fluids. A small droplet of blood, saliva, or urine, or even a teardrop, from the patient is dropped onto the membrane. This is followed by the droplet of gold nanoparticles, which tags the biomarkers trapped in the membrane. If the biomarkers are present, a red spot appears, signaling the patient has the disease and should seek additional testing and possible treatment.
“The concept is similar to a home pregnancy test, but instead of flowing laterally, it flows through the membrane,” said paper first-author Jennifer Granger, research associate at U. Utah. The idea for the test is a spinoff of a similar test Prof. Porter developed years ago that astronauts on the International Space Station used to test the cleanliness of their drinking water. “This is a smarter offshoot of that,” said Prof. Porter. Now that the team has proven the concept with liver cancer and built a prototype test kit, researchers plan to evaluate the technology in Mongolia in spring of 2019. The East Asian country has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world.
A handheld spectrometer manufactured by project collaborator B&W Tek (Newark, DE, USA) can analyze the membranes and measure the amounts of biomarkers present, which in the future could help determine disease severity or monitor how a patient is responding to treatment. Utah-based nutritional supplement company USANA is interested in using a form of the test for customers with certain vitamin deficiencies. “USANA has a keen interest in the ability to measure certain vitamins and biomarkers in various bodily fluids that can be related to a person’s health status,” said Mark Brown, executive director of Laboratory Sciences at USANA, “Rather than taking a blood sample and sending it off to lab for analysis, this technology could make it possible for people to do their own analysis in the comfort of their own home. Small sample size and simplicity of use are crucial components of making this a reality, and this research is a step closer to that end.”Read More Here
Cancer researchers have are warning drug developers that in about 62% of ovarian cancer cell samples levels of messenger RNA and protein did not accurately reflect changes in gene activity. High-throughput technologies have identified significant changes in patterns of mRNA expression over cancer development but the functional significance of these changes often rests upon the assumption that observed changes in levels of mRNA accurately reflect changes in levels of their encoded proteins. To test this assumption, investigators at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA) examined the activity of 4,436 genes, their subsequently transcribed messenger RNA, and the resulting proteins in ovarian cancer cells donated by a single patient.
They reported in the August 15, 2017, online edition of the journal Scientific Reports that the overall correlation between global changes in levels of mRNA and their encoding proteins was low. The majority of differences were on the protein level with no corresponding change on the mRNA level. Indirect and direct evidence indicated that a significant fraction of the differences may have been mediated by microRNAs.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of noncoding 19- to 25-nucleotide RNAs that regulate gene expression by targeting messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in a sequence specific manner, inducing translational repression or mRNA degradation, depending on the degree of complement between miRNAs and their targets. Many miRNAs are conserved in sequence between distantly related organisms, suggesting that these molecules participate in essential processes. In fact, miRNAs have been shown to be involved in the regulation of gene expression during development, cell proliferation, apoptosis, glucose metabolism, stress resistance, and cancer. "A lot of mutations in cancer are mutations in production levels. The proteins are being overexpressed," said senior author Dr. John F. McDonald, professor of biological sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "The messenger RNA-protein connection is important because proteins are usually the targets of gene-based cancer therapies. And drug developers typically measure messenger RNA levels thinking they will tell them what the protein levels are. The idea that any change in RNA level in cancerous development flows all the way up to the protein level could be leading to drug targeting errors. So, there are going to be many instances where if you are predicting what to give therapeutically to a patient based on RNA, your prescription could easily be incorrect. Drug developers could be aiming at targets that are not there and also not shooting for targets that are there."Related Links:Georgia Institute of Technology
A family of enzymes called APOBEC3 are a critical part of the immune system’s response to viral infection, striking out at viral DNA to cause disabling mutations. Unfortunately, these enzymes can also induce DNA mutations and damage in the host genome, shows a new study, sometimes in ways that cause cancer. “We know that the majority of cancers are caused by genetic mutations. And we know some of the mechanisms that cause these mutations, for example, UV radiation, can cause mutations that lead to skin cancer and smoking can cause mutations that lead to lung cancer. But there are many more cancers in which we don’t know the source of the mutations. The APOBEC3 family can explain how some of these mutations are created. In fact, APOBEC3A can be activated in many ways—not just with HPV infection—and its action may drive a percentage of oncogenic mutations across many cancer types,” explained Dohun Pyeon, Ph.D., investigator at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and associate professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology in the School of Medicine.
Data from the Cancer Genome Atlas showed signatures of APOBEC3-mediated mutations in the PIK3CA gene of about 40% of HPV-positive head and neck cancers, but only about 10% of HPV-negative head and neck cancers. Expression of APOBEC3A was much higher in HPV-positive cancers. “Recently, about four years ago, cancer genomics researchers found interesting mutation signatures in the DNA of cancer cells, showing that these mutations were caused by APOBEC3 enzymes. Our study shows that a significant fraction of mutations in HPV-positive cancers are potentially caused by one of these APOBEC3 enzymes,” Pyeon said.
Interestingly, the system that so heavily risks damaging host DNA does not work so well against its intended target—APOBEC3A does not successfully eliminate the HPV virus, which remains as a chronic infection. Signatures of APOBEC3-mediated mutations could be targets for new cancer immunotherapies, Pyeon says, noting, “Now that we can recognize cells altered by APOBEC3, we could teach tumor neoantigen-based immunotherapies to recognize these cells as well.”Read More Here
Kidney cancer is usually caught because of the symptoms a patient develops, but it is also possible for kidney cancer to be asymptomatic, with tumors growing quite large before causing pain or other noticeable problems. The mechanisms involved in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) development and progression remain unclear, and new biomarkers are needed in routine practice to improve the diagnostic and/or prognostic accuracy. A blood test for kidney cancer, which is under development, could improve screening for this disease and help ensure that asymptomatic patients are diagnosed while their cancer is still treatable.
A team of scientists at the Jinling Hospital (Nanjing, China) measured the concentrations of 754 different microRNAs (miRNA) in blood samples from 33 patients with the most common type of kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) and 33 healthy individuals. An initial microarray survey of 754 miRNAs was firstly performed using the TaqMan Low Density Array followed by a hydrolysis probe-based quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) validation from serum samples to identify significantly dysregulated miRNAs in RCC. The expression levels of miR-651 and miR-708 in 17 paired tumor tissues were also examined. Furthermore, in vitro tests including CCK8 proliferation, transwell and wound healing assays were conducted to explore the potential functions of miR-651 and miR-708 in RCC. Luciferase reporter assays combined with Western blotting were employed to validate the target genes.
The team found that the serum levels of four miRNAs were verified to be significantly increased, whereas the levels of four miRNAs were markedly decreased in RCC patients compared with the non-cancer controls. Of these eight microRNAs, statistical analysis revealed that the two known as miR-651 and miR-708, which decreased in the kidney cancer patients, exhibited the largest areas under the curve (0.888 and 0.832, respectively). This means that a test for these microRNAs could diagnose renal cell carcinoma with relatively high accuracy. They also investigated the functions of miR-651 and miR-708 and found evidence suggesting they act as tumor suppressors. A therapeutic that increases levels of miR-651 and miR-708 could therefore potentially serve as a new treatment for renal cell carcinoma.
Chunni Zhang, PhD, the lead author of the study, said, “The mechanisms involved in renal cell carcinoma development and progression are unclear, and there is no standard serological biomarker to facilitate diagnosis in patients with this disease. Both miR-651 and miR-708 may potentially serve as novel biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma and may act as tumor suppressors. Our findings indicate that targeting miR-651 and miR-708 by a genetic approach may provide a novel strategy for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma.” The study was presented at the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, held July 30 to August 3, in San Diego, CA, USA.Read More Here
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