Protein self-organization patterns in dried serum reveal changes in B-cell disorders

Anthony A. Killeen, Natalya Ossina, Ronald C. McGlennen, Sharon Minnerath, John Borgos, Vadim Alexandrov, Armen Sarvazyan

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Background: Detection of serum monoclonal proteins is a common laboratory analysis used in the evaluation of patients with B-cell disorders. Since many individuals with elevated immunoglobulin have no symptoms, it is important to have simple methods for initial screening of patients with suspected B-cell disorders. Methods: Samples of serum from healthy donors and from patients with elevated immunoglobulin levels were tested using a technology named Droplet MicroChromatography (DMC). DMC was developed at Artann Laboratories (West Trenton, New Jersey, USA) for the rapid assessment of changes in the composition of serum. DMC is based on the dynamics of the sediment pattern formation during drying of a fluid microdroplet. Results: Results of this pilot study confirm the hypothesis that the pattern formation created by drying droplets of serum would differ between normal samples and those containing monoclonal proteins. Reproducible differences in the patterns formed by the two types of specimens are shown. Strong correlation between abnormally elevated levels of immunoglobulins in the serum of myeloma patients and the patterns formed by drying droplets of serum indicates that the DMC technique may be suitable for semi-quantitative analysis of serum samples. We also demonstrate that computer identification of the drying droplet structure and dynamics is a tractable issue. Conclusions: DMC has significant diagnostic potential and can serve as a basis for development of a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method for initial screening of patients suspected of having multiple myeloma and other pathologies of lymphoid origin that are associated with the overproduction of monoclonal immunoglobulins. The DMC test requires only ≈1μL of serum and could therefore be performed in any facility where it is safe to work with serum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

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    Killeen, A. A., Ossina, N., McGlennen, R. C., Minnerath, S., Borgos, J., Alexandrov, V., & Sarvazyan, A. (2006). Protein self-organization patterns in dried serum reveal changes in B-cell disorders. Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy, 10(6), 371-380.