Molecular biomarkers are biomolecules indicative of disease possibility, presence and prognosis. In most cases, these are variations in our genes (DNA) and how they are transcribed or expressed (mRNA or proteins). Researchers are developing biomarkers for myriad disease states, including all forms of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.
Quantitative determination of biomarkers in cells can be performed using either conventional microplate reader optics or digital widefield microscopy. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization using fluorescence microscopy can be performed to identify gene variants and also quantify gene transcription; while microplate readers equipped with numerous detection modes are well equipped to quantify protein biomarkers using sandwich immunoassay technologies. Assays of this type are commonly run in higher density microplates, such as 96 or 384-well formats. Furthermore, the biomarker assay workflow can benefit from automated liquid handing for sample preparation to reagent addition.
BioTek has developed several application notes describing molecular biomarker assays. An example of the utility of the combined time-resolved fluorescence detection and digital imaging capabilities of the Cytation (from BioTek Instruments) with regard to biomarker assays is described in “Analysis of the Effect of Aggregated β-Amyloid on Cellular Signaling Pathways Critical for Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease” summarized below.
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