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Biochemical testing array

  1. Nov 12, 2009 #1
    Hi all, I was thinking recently about insulin testing, and whether the convenience could be extended to other hormones and biochemicals in the body. For instance the thyroid molecules T3 and T4. It seems like a device capable of testing for the level of these molecules on the fly would be extremely useful for people with thyroid disease, and other tests may prove useful for other diseases as well.

    My question is, how easy would it be to create a device, similar to what diabetics use, that could test for a large array of compounds in human blood and return their concentration?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Well the difficulty depends on the molecule I suppose.

    The simplest and cheapest way to determine the concentration of a biomolecule would have to be measuring IR/visual/UV absorption (or emissions) for some characteristic wavelength and use your basic Beer-Lambert law (or perhaps better, an empirical absorption-concentration curve).

    The question there would be if you can identify an absorption/emission line unique to your target compound. (or at the very least, that the other compounds contributing to the absorption/emission would have relatively constant concentrations) Or you could find a reagent which, when added, would bind to your target molecule and create a characteristic line.
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