Saturday, December 19, 2009

Parkinson's Disease Diagnostic Development

A while back donated a fibroblast sample from my upper arm so that my cells could be cultured and my DNA could be a "normal" control in a microarray experiment. At least someone thinks I am normal!! This was done in conjunction with our research collaboration with the Parkinson's Institute to developed a molecular diagnostic test for Parkinson's Disease. President Barack Obama said, "It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today." I'd like to add it takes a skin fibroblast sample too! This is for development purposes only, final goal of the test we development will not require a patient to provide a fibroblast as shown here.

Area was made numb by a topical anesthetic, then sterilized with both an alcohol and iodine. Didn't hurt a bit. A special tool was used to make sure a perfect size little circle was cut.

The fibroblast sample is at the end of the pair of tweezers.

The hole in my arm was patched up using a special tape that stays on like skin. I am happy to say that it hardly left a mark on my arm and things are healing up very nicely.

Fibroblast sample went into a special buffer and media to make sure that the cells say alive and go into a special culturing procedure immediately. Sample preparation is a very important step. Our microarray platform works so efficiently that it is possible to detect changes in data based on how the samples are prepared. In any scientific comparative study, each and every sample should be handled as indentically as possible.
If you want to learn more about our collaboration with the Parkinson's Institute, please contact me or .