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Biochemistry Instruments and Reagents

Empowering the lab with automation

Biochemistry is and will remain one of the most important areas of science.

Medical science cannot really exist without biochemistry. Ever since Eduard Buchner’s 1897 discovery that a cell-free extract of yeast can ferment sugar (widely considered to be the birth of biochemistry), biochemistry has enjoyed an intimate relationship with medicine, physiology, pathology, pharmacy, etc. All diseases have a molecular basis, so biochemistry enables to understand the chemical processes involved in conditions as varied as diabetes, hyperammonemia, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, hypo- and hyperparathyroidism, jaundice, kidney dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, phenylketonuria, sickle cell anemia, dental fluorosis, rickets, acidosis and alkalosis, lysosomal storage diseases, and atherosclerosis. Biochemistry is also the sole field that accurately describes the function and role of vitamins in the body. With millions of people taking daily vitamins and mineral supplements, the ongoing discoveries made by biochemists will continue to exert a huge impact on the field of nutritional deficiency.

In all, the real impact of biochemistry is hard to quantify. From lab-grown placentas that will transform pregnancy research to new drugs that wipe out antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the trailblazing work of biochemists continues to expand the horizons of medical science. All life on Earth depends on biochemical reactions and processes. By integrating this scientific knowledge with practical strategies to maintain health, understand diseases, identify potential treatments, and enhance our understanding of the origins of life on earth, biochemistry is and will remain one of the most important areas of science.

The Covid-19 epidemic caused significant hurdles for the healthcare sector. But when the infection spread, more clinical chemistry testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus carriers was carried out. Tests, including procalcitonin, albumin, lactate dehydrogenase, and the C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as less common ones like lactate dehydrogenase and procalcitonin, were used to assess organ involvement and disease severity and to estimate the probability of morbidity and mortality.

Moreover, during the pandemic, the clinical chemistry tests and the serological testing assisted in keeping track of the affected people’s general health. Therefore, the Covid-19 pandemic increased the use of these tests, which contributed significantly to the market’s expansion and had a favorable effect on that market’s growth.

Due to the rising patient load and frequent readmissions, hospitals held a substantial market share in the clinical chemistry market. Additionally, growing government initiatives to support adequate diagnostic facilities that produce speedy results and enhance overall efficiency also plays a significant role in the market expansion for this segment.

Mapping blood biochemistry at the cellular level
Monitoring and assessing blood biochemistry is central to disease diagnosis and the evaluation of treatments and medical interventions. Over the years, several powerful analytical techniques and blood assays have been developed to improve blood biochemistry analysis and patient prognosis.

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique used in several industries to provide data on the structure of molecules and materials. It provides vibrational information on molecules to build a unique structural fingerprint to identify the target sample. The technique offers an extremely sensitive diagnostic approach to determine a patient’s complex cellular-level blood biochemistry. Raman spectroscopy provides in vivo cellular biochemistry insights that provide information on blood samples’ cellular environment.

Raman spectroscopy is sensitive to heme states, and this characteristic of the technique allows researchers to probe distribution of different forms of hemoglobin and their dependence on cellular physiology. Combining Raman spectroscopy with fluorescence microscopy helps to correlate hemoglobin redistribution with ionic signaling and cell dynamics. This technique can aid the development of new hematology protocols by evaluating the response of cell structural reactivity to biochemical and biophysical interventions.

The performance of biochemistry analyzers can be evaluated based on several criteria, such as operation method (automatic or semi-automatic), speed (number of samples analyzed by the analyzer per hour), and random access mode (to allow random and continuous sample loading and obtain results of different patients as quickly as possible). When choosing a biochemistry analyzer it is important to check whether assay automation is needed, the accuracy level of measurements, capacity (maximum number of samples that can be analyzed at a time), and the speed of testing.

Biochemistry analyzers have been evolving at a rapid pace, with fully automated equipment already on the market. Fully automatic analyzer, which is a high-performance biochemistry analyzer, is used to measure various blood biochemical parameters, such as urea, glucose, and bilirubin that are associated with various disorders, such as kidney diseases, liver failures, and other metabolic imbalances.

Some analyzers are also used to detect DNA molecules in the samples. These analyzers are capable of recognizing sample and reagent bottles, tube sampling, cap piercing, automatic re-run, and dilution, among other things. The implementation of IT and automation in these analyzers is expected to drive market growth.

Conventional biochemistry analyzers that are used for repetitive analysis require large amount of reagents and time. However, the technologically advanced analyzers are capable of automating the process of repetitive sample analysis that were earlier done by lab technicians. The multiplexing analyzers possess the feature of identification that reduces the method of recurrent pathogen testing. This becomes an essential feature in cases of samples that have low volume like neonatal units. This sort of system with shorter turnaround time gives benefits of high clarity and result accuracy. The feature of identification helps acquire correct ends up in shorter run time by avoiding the inclusion of too several targets.

Furthermore, integrated systems that combine immunochemistry and biochemistry tests are gaining huge attention. It increases the workflow efficiency and delivers fast turnaround and high throughput. It also helps in achieving increased instrument capacity by connecting different analyzer units with a single sample-presentation mechanism.

On the opposite hand, besides pathogen testing, biochemistry analyzers are used for drug monitoring, drug abuse detection, and plenty of a lot of other applications. Because of such technological advancements within the field of skilled diagnostics, the applications of biochemistry analyzers that were initially restricted to the detection of infectious diseases are currently venturing into alternative areas as well.

Fully automated biochemistry testing is becoming popular due to increased testing volume and quicker processing times provided by them. Additionally, with advanced processing, automated testing boosts user protection from biohazards and decreases the possibility of cross-contamination, due to which fully automated clinical chemistry testing will continue to expand. 

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