Research will explore cellular responses to chemical weapons and stem cell differentiation.

The Center for Molecular Orthopedics at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Orthopedics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital will investigate human cellular response to chemical weapons and adult stem cell differentiation using the BioTrove’s OpenArray™ technology platform and OpenArray NT Cycler.

“Our work is all about speed and accuracy, so we rely on high-throughput, high-accuracy equipment,” points out Keith Crawford, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator, orthopedics, Harvard Medical School. “The OpenArray platform allows us to process large numbers of patient samples effectively and efficiently with lower reagent costs and uncomplicated workflow.”

Dr. Crawford and his team will explore a novel approach to pathogen detection. Traditionally, tests have looked for the pathogen itself. Most tools, however, are not sensitive enough to detect its presence in small quantities, before the patient is sick. Dr. Crawford’s team will examine on a cellular level the human immune response to pathogens. Using the OpenArray platform to conduct real-time qPCR-based tests, the researchers can detect minute but immediate changes in human cells triggered by the body’s immune system response to pathogens, according to BioTrove.

“We predict examining the body’s response to a pathogen will be a more sensitive way to detect its presence, enabling us to rapidly identify and treat patients in a situation such as biowarfare,” states Dr. Crawford.

In addition to pathogen detection, the Harvard researchers are conducting adult stem cell research with the goal of identifying genes responsible for triggering differentiation. The OpenArray system allows a wide range of samples and assays to be screened simultaneously on a single plate, allowing the examination of thousands of data points to discover the genes that regulate cellular development, remarks BioTrove.

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