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Lab test for allergy scoops national
Date:11/26/2008

Scientists who have developed a new technique that can test for up to 5,000 different allergens from just one drop of blood have scooped a prestigious national award which encourages innovation in healthcare technologies.

The new basophil-microarray based allergy assay is the brainchild of researchers in The University of Nottingham's Schools of Pharmacy and Biosciences, in collaboration with colleagues in the Centre for Respiratory Research at Nottingham City Hospital.

Their innovation has won them a Da Vinci award in the Breakthrough Technology category, which comes with a 15,000 prize to use towards furthering their research.

Now in their second year, the Da Vinci Awards, which are run through Loughborough University, recognise collaborative projects that lead to the potential commercialisation of healthcare innovations to save lives and improve services to patients.

Dr Franco Falcone, Associate Professor in The University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy, said that he and his colleagues were thrilled to have won a Da Vinci award as it would be crucial in acting as a springboard to the further progression of their research.

He added: "Getting funding from research councils for such a project is not always easy, so this is why Da Vinci award funding is ideal because it's seed funding that we can then use to underpin a major grant application."

The new technology developed at Nottingham is a lab-based, in-vitro test to mimic human allergic reaction that could be used as an alternative to the traditional skin-prick test. It can test up to 5,000 different food or inhalant allergens that could cause an allergic reaction in a patient and the researchers are hoping it could also be developed as a diagnostic tool for parasitic infections.

It works by adding tiny dots of allergen molecules to paper on a glass slide. A drop of the patient's blood is added before the slide is incubated with the cells caus
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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.acuk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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