APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Noninvasive diagnosis of Crohn’s disease
- An alternative to colonoscopy for diagnostic testing of Crohn’s disease phenotypes
- Analyzes samples rapidly
- Pinpoints the most distinguishing biological markers among thousands
- May provide insight into the causes and therapeutic targets of several diseases
Janet Jansson at Berkeley Lab and a team of scientists in Sweden and Germany have invented a method to diagnose and distinguish among types of Crohn’s disease by noninvasively testing stool samples. The method identifies differentiating metabolites within the tremendous diversity of microbes and metabolic products found in fecal water.
The Berkeley Lab scientists used ion cyclotron resonance-Fourier transform mass spectrometry (ICR-FT/MS) with ultrahigh resolution to determine the mass/charge ratio of thousands of metabolites in fecal samples from 17 pairs of twins, including healthy individuals and those with Crohn’s disease. Diagnoses had been made previously by gastroenterologists based on colonoscopies, biopsies, and radiographs. The concentrations of several of the metabolites in the fecal water could be used to distinguish the individuals with ileal Crohn’s disease, those with colonic Crohn’s disease, and those who are healthy.
Compared with other profiles of microbial compositions in feces, this technology required less time to obtain and proved far more effective at identifying patients with ileal and colonic Crohn’s disease. In addition, the identified metabolites and the pathways to which they belong could lead to potential therapeutic biomarkers or drug targets.
Using current diagnostic technology, appropriate treatment may be delayed or difficult to determine. Noninvasive tests for several biological markers in stool or blood have been proposed previously; however, these tests do not stand alone and must be used in conjunction with invasive tests.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proof-of-concept achieved.
STATUS: Published Patent Application WO2011009099 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Biomarker for Cell Senescence, IB-1036
REFERENCE NUMBER: JIB-2676