Original Published Date: 
Monday, October 21, 2019

Full article issued by The University of New South Wales and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics (CNBP).

Researchers have found a way to identify multiple cell signalling proteins using a single cell rather than the billions of cells used previously. The new measurement technology, developed by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, brings precision medicine a step closer.

“Cells secrete various messenger molecules, such as cytokines. They may indicate the presence of a disease or act as a driver of key therapeutic effects,” says Dr Guozhen Liu, an ARC Future Fellow and lead author of the paper detailing the technology.

The new method, termed 'OnCELISA' can be used for ultrasensitive monitoring of cytokine release by individual cells, and it can also help discover cell populations with therapeutic value, as cytokines play a critical role in controlling many physiological functions, including immunity, inflammation, response to cancer, and tissue repair.

“The ability to identify and select cell populations based on their cytokine release is particularly valuable in commercial cell technologies and it can help develop unique products, such as future non-opioid pain relief,” says Dr Liu.

Photo credit: 

The image represents our sensor during the process of detecting cytokine molecules being secreted from cells. Detection is a specific step in our chemical procedure. Credit: CNBP.