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Advances in quantitative analysis

The August 2017 issue of SLAS TECHNOLOGY reports advances in quantitative analysis that illustrates how the progression of research assays from qualitative outputs toward increasingly sensitive quantitative outputs is transforming life sciences and biomedical research and diagnostics by improving the ability of researchers and clinicians to detect and quantify increasingly complex assays.

Carbon nanofibers coated with PEDOT in a scanning electron microscope image (Juan Guzman and Meryem Pehlivaner)

Anchored by an in-depth, two-part review of digital assays by Amar S. Basu, Ph.D., of Wayne State University (Detroit, MI), the collection of papers presented in this special issue report improvements in assay design, such as data partitioning, and demonstrate how these improvements are enabling quantification of rare mutations in increasingly smaller sample volumes, quantitative single cell analysis of a range of other molecular biological outputs and more comprehensive analysis of heterogeneous populations as well as rare biological samples

Papers in this issue also share insight into how the integration of microfluidic technologies into all aspects of assay development, sample collection, sample trapping and detection is improving a wide range of life sciences and biomedical research applications. Examples include improved label-free detection of molecule-protein interactions with increased sensitivity as well as a 10x increase in array sample size by using flow cells in microscope slide; improved mechanobiological studies by improving control of external force input, such as regulation of extracellular matrix stiffness; improved tissue dissection and sample processing to improve analysis of smaller sample sizes in quantitative assays related to cancer diagnostics, developmental biology and drug screening.

Advances in quantitative analysis reported in this issue document accurate detection of species-specific ribosomal RNA through electrochemical biosensors to improve detection of blood bacterial infections; how sensor design can allow for equipment-free diagnostic devices against other infectious diseases with high sensitivity; and how current implementation of miniaturization technology paired with improved imaging analysis software allows for quantitative phenotypic analysis of increasingly complex samples, such as 3D spheroids, in high-throughput drug screening applications.

Reference:

Materials provided by Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. Note that image maybe edited for aesthetic reasons and content may be edited for length.

Amar S. Basu. Digital Assays Part I: Partitioning Statistics and Digital PCR. SLAS TECHNOLOGY: Translating Life Sciences Innovation, 2017; 22 (4): 369 DOI: 10.1177/2472630317705680

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