Now barcodes to help hone diagnostics

May 24th, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 24 (IANS) You’ve seen barcodes on consumer products - now these, or something very similar, will soon be put to medical use. Ultra-sensitive fluorescent barcodes called nanostrings, developed by Australian scientists, will greatly hone diagnostics and clinical development, according to a new study.

The nanostring will enable a more accurate detection of molecules associated with particular diseases and will be able to identify new molecules associated with diseases, said Krassen Dimitrov of the University of Queensland.

“Because this system can count the exact number of bio-molecules present we can get an extremely accurate and sensitive picture of gene expression at a particular point in time,” Dimitrov said.

“This quantitative data is superior to other gene expression systems such as microarrays, which rely on the analogue measurement of fluorescence and therefore are less accurate and have a limited range.”

He said the technology is based on a non-enzymatic process which reduces the chance of bias and is more robust in a variety of different conditions.

Dimitrov is currently working on the next step, which will be new nano-barcodes that will further reduce the cost and improve sensitivity and usability.

Findings of the study have been published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

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