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Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Stem Cell Research Applications with OpenArray™ System

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BioTrove, Inc.has announced that researchers at 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, as well as adult stem cell differentiation, using the BioTrove OpenArray™ technology platform and OpenArray NT Cycler.

"Our lab is dedicated to medical research that protects human health - from innovative tests that detect biological weapons to techniques for developing specific cell types to treat disease," said Keith Crawford, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, Orthopedics, Harvard Medical School.

"Our work is all about speed and accuracy - so we rely on high-throughput, high-accuracy equipment. The OpenArray platform allows us to process large numbers of patient samples effectively and efficiently, with lower reagent costs and uncomplicated workflow," he added.

Dr. Crawford and his team will use the OpenArray technology to explore an approach to pathogen detection, a process that evaluates the presence of microbes such as bacteria or biological weapons. Traditionally, tests have looked for the pathogen itself, but most systems are not sensitive enough to detect its presence in small quantities - before the patient is sick. Instead, Dr. Crawford's team will examine on a cellular level the human immune response to pathogens.

Using the OpenArray platform to conduct real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based tests, the researchers can detect minute but immediate changes in human cells triggered by the body's immune system response to pathogens.

"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," said 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 process by which identical stem cells develop into specialized cells found in the heart, lungs, and other organs.

Because the OpenArray system allows a wide range of samples and assays to be screened simultaneously on a single plate, researchers can examine thousands of data points to discover the genes that regulate cellular development.

"We are always eager to partner with talented researchers like Dr. Crawford and his colleagues - but it is especially gratifying to be part of two distinct projects in the same lab, both seeking to protect human health," said Al Luderer, Ph.D., president and CEO, BioTrove.

"As a company committed to advancing research that improves public health and quality-of-life, BioTrove is excited to enable this work," Luderer continued.