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Improving health assessments with a single cell

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posted on May, 24 2011 @ 10:20 AM
Single Cell Barcode Chip (SCBC)

Single Cell Barcode Chip (SCBC) enables personalized immune function monitoring: A small sample of a patient’s blood contains both white and red blood cells. The white blood cells are comprised of many different cell types, each of which perform various functions that together represent the activity of the immune system. Single immune cells are captured on the SCBC and their functional behavior read out by recording the levels of a dozen functional, secreted proteins for each captured cell.

Imagine the applications....

A patient beginning some pharmaceutical regimen can have the simple test done before and after, and the technicians can produce a timeline of how you immune system was affected by the drugs, or treatment.

Of course, the initial use seems to be focused on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but knowing that we are fielding more and more powerfully complex medications out there, it could extend its functionality to other patients and could improve the information from clinical trials of new synthetic drugs.

"This technology has the potential to be used routinely to monitor immune system performance," says Chao Ma, a graduate student in Heath's lab at Caltech's NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center and lead author of the Nature Medicine paper. "For example, it can be directly used to evaluate the effectiveness of certain classes of therapeutics, such as vaccines and other immunotherapies."

The paper the article refers to is here, for those interested in more technical details...Clinical Microchip.


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