Updated on 31 December 2012
What we have been able to do is to innovate and combine the GCMS technology with population based screening, thereby addressing the limitations with the GCMS technology. For instance, GCMS was not apt for automation. The throughput was also lacking in the GCMS whereby it can do only 50 samples. Our lab has been able to automate the reporting of result through software to decode the result. This reduces the expertise required to analyze the results and time of screening has also been reduced.
Urine sample contains urea largely. So how is it possible to utilize urine sample for screening for diseases?
Dr James Shoemaker, associate professor, Edward A Daisy Research Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, US, developed the technique of analyzing the urine for metabolites other than urea in 1989 through simple innovation.
Keeping in mind that without the removal of urea from the urine sample, one cannot analyze the metabolite in the urine Dr Shoemaker separated the urea from the urine with the help of urease enzyme. LifeCell proprietary technology has been validated by Dr Shoemaker, who also attended the launch of BabyShield on October 22, 2012.
What are the benefits of BabyShield?
BabyShield is the world's most advanced newborn screening program. No company in the world offers screening for 118 diseases. Around 111 diseases can be screened with urine sample and seven with cord blood.
Simple conditions such as galactosemia, a condition in which the body is unable to use the simple sugar galactose, is highly prevalent in India. In such a condition the mother breastfeeds the child only to harm the infant. Simple detection at the time of birth can diagnose such conditions and the baby's health could thus be improvised.