Researchers Devise Method to Spot Several Proteins from Single Sample


Published Date : Aug 14, 2018

Researchers from the McGill University have developed a technology that shows potential in streamlining and speeding up the process of protein analysis, offering an economical, high volume, and quick tool for research labs as well as hospitals. Proteins found in blood play a crucial role in helping clinicians and scientists gaining key bits of data regarding our health. These biomarkers are the key to understanding the underlying cause of a variety of symptoms shown by the body, such as in the case of a chest pain, these biomarkers can help assess whether the causative factor is a cardiac event or other condition.

Regrettably, protein analysis tools have not evolved notably in the past several decades. Owing to this, despite our bodies housing nearly 20,000 proteins, most of the protein analysis tests available in the present times can only target a single protein at one time. The new technique devised by researchers at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the McGill University can be used to test hundreds of proteins from a single sample of blood.

The researchers have used an innovative, improved way of barcoding micro-beads with the help of multi-color fluorescent dyes. With the help of more than 500 micro-beads of different colors, the new barcoding method allows the detection of several biomarkers in parallel using the same solution. After this, the scientists used a cytometer to count the proteins that stuck to the different microbeads.

While this method of analysis has been around for some years in the market now, difficulties in generating the correct colors owing to interference among multicolor dyes has limited its efficiency. With the new study, the scenario is much different owing to a new algorithm devised by the team, enabling micro beads of different colors to be developed with much ease and accuracy. The researchers have now focused their research efforts at maintaining the correct detection of proteins with a larger scale.