Invention gives improved gene technology analysis

April 24, 2008

A patent for a system that gives more reliable results in gene technology-based diagnostic tests has been granted to researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

Gene technology analysis is used increasingly in diagnostic tests for detection of minute amounts of cells, bacteria and viruses in biological samples. However, false positive or negative results may occur.

- To uncover false negative results, an internal control reagent can be included in the tests to verify that the analysis results are valid. The problem with the internal controls used in today’s analyses is that they can only be added during, or at the end of the analysis process. This means that quality assurance is incomplete, explains Einar Sverre Berg at the Department for Virology.

Together with colleague Kjell Skaug he invented a protective shell for the internal control, based on cell/virus-mimicking liposomes. The liposome/internal control particles can thus be mixed with the biological test material when the sample is taken and be present during the entire analytical process. Whole process quality assurance is thereby achieved with more reliable results.

Chlamydia test first

Berg and Skaug were among the first in the world to show that restrictive substances in urine samples are an important source of false negative results in gene technology-based chlamydia tests.

The scientists recognised the problem with incomplete quality assurance, and invented the solution for the tests.

- A fantastic property of the system is that it isn’t limited to just one test. It can be used in any gene technology-based assay detecting biologically substances. The liposome can be tailored and adapted according to the target – be it a virus or bacterium. The potential, in other words, is enormous, says Berg.

Berg and his colleague have applied for a patent on their discovery in all industrialised countries and have established the company IC Particles AS. Patents were first granted in New Zealand and Australia, followed by Norway. Berg is also optimistic about getting a patent in the USA within this year.

- Without the NIPH’s goodwill and patience it is likely that the IC Particle’s invention would not have been developed, concludes Einar Sverre Berg.

Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Explore further: Cholesterol test for one-year-olds? Study says it could help

Related Stories

Cholesterol test for one-year-olds? Study says it could help

October 26, 2016

What if a blood test could reveal that your child is at high risk for early heart disease years in the future, giving you a chance to prevent it now? A big study in England did that—screening thousands of babies for inherited ...

Scientists edit gene mutations in inherited form of anemia

October 26, 2016

A Yale-led research team used a new gene editing strategy to correct mutations that cause thalassemia, a form of anemia. Their gene editing technique provided corrections to the mutations and alleviated the disease in mice, ...

The gene of autumn colours

October 25, 2016

Researchers have found Mendel's Stay-Green gene encodes an enzyme that extracts magnesium from chlorophyll, adding clarity to understanding how the pigment degrades.

Maternal blood test may predict birth complications

October 24, 2016

A protein found in the blood of pregnant women could be used to develop tests to determine the health of their babies and aid decisions on early elective deliveries, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University ...

Recommended for you

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

October 27, 2016

A group coordinated by SISSA Trieste has built a 3-D computer model of the human genome. The shape of DNA (and its sequence) affects biological processes and is crucial for understanding its function. The study has provided ...

A composite thread that varies in rigidity

October 27, 2016

EPFL scientists have developed a new type of composite thread that varies in stiffness depending on its temperature. Applications range from multifunctional robots to knitted casts, and even tunable medical devices.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.