A research undertaken by a team at the Center for Engineering in Medicine based in Massachusetts General Hospital have come up with a concept that uses an assay (fluorescence based) for sensitive detection of certain antibodies within serum samples of micro liter volume.
This upcoming assay is around 50 times more sensitive than conventional radioimmunoassay (RIA). RIA is currently the gold standard used in clinics. However, this new technology presents attractive prospects for immunological assays. This technology delivers use of sample reagents which are very small; it also allows use of conventional analytical systems like standard real time PCR, which requires much lower sample volumes.
Hence, the increased sensitivity of the assay can enable for a more accurate analysis of the onset of disease. It also allows better temporal resolution in terms of disease progression.
The report published in the current journal of Technology displays many crucial observations. According to Martin Yarmush, the senior author of the research paper this technique is a clever combination of many existing techniques, which result is a more sensitive, clinically-relevant, non-radioactive assay.
He also stated that it is their hope that this method will become a useful tool in future for early on detection of Autoantibodies (Islet Cell) for at-risk patients. This technique is partially constructed on the sensitivity of RCA (Rolling Circle Amplification), which they designed the assay to be modular so that it can be applied to other antigen-antibody pairing without having the need for much modification. In addition, the assay can be effectively adapted to include as many antibodies as possible.