Randox Reagents Team Celebrate British Science Week!
This British Science Week 2016, the Reagents Team at Randox are celebrating the hard work our Research and Development Team put in every day, to help bring the best quality diagnostic reagents to the market.
We caught up with Emmet Donnelly, Clinical Chemistry R&D Scientist, to explain a bit about what his work involves, and how it’s impacting on global healthcare!
What is your position and what does it involve?
I am a Clinical Analyst on the Clinical Chemistry R&D Team. This role involves the development of new reagents and the improvement of existing reagents. It also involves the transfer and testing of existing chemistries onto new analyser platforms. Troubleshooting and resolving customer queries also forms part of a clinical analyst’s role.
For those of us who aren’t in the industry, can you explain what reagents and assays are?
A reagent is a chemical used to detect the quantity of another component or analyte in a sample (blood or urine), for example a cholesterol reagent contains the necessary chemical make-up to detect the amount of cholesterol in a patient sample.
An assay is the procedure involved in determining the amount of analyte in a sample using a reagent. For example a cholesterol assay involves enzymes within the reagent breaking the cholesterol down into its chemical constituents. These constituents react with other components in the reagent to form a coloured indicator. If this assay is being used on a clinical chemistry analyser, light is passed through the coloured mixture and the amount of light absorbed is proportional to the concentration of analyte in the sample.
How does you work impact on global healthcare?
The diagnostic assays are a vital component in the diagnosis of disease. In order to find out, for example, why a patient is feeling poorly they must first have a blood test to measure all their blood analytes. This will help diagnose the underlying problem and aid in choosing and monitoring the correct treatment for that patient. For example a patient suffering from diabetes must constantly have their glucose levels monitored so that correct doses of insulin can be administered.
What is your favourite Randox product and why?
I like some of the old products like glucose, ALP and cholesterol because they are the tried and tested reagents that are essential for monitoring the health of our vital organs. These always comprise part of the panel of testing to be done when our GP takes a blood sample from us.
I also like the newer reagent products such as the DOA (Drugs of Abuse) reagents. They offer a means of detecting illegal substances in urine samples offering aid to law enforcement.