What Is Molecular Diagnostics?
Molecular diagnostics is based on the study and analysis of human genes so that we can better understand diseases such as who is most likely susceptible and the best ways to control or treat them. There are gene mutations that are associated with certain diseases. This exciting field of genetics is leading us towards a more personalized medicine with a proactive approach.
What Supplies And Equipment Are Needed In A Molecular Diagnostic Lab?
There are specific supplies and equipment needed in a molecular diagnostic lab in order to analyze possible red flags in the sequencing of genetic codes. Some of the techniques used include PCR amplification, STR analysis, sequencing, and nucleic acid isolation and quantification. A molecular diagnostic lab typically includes the following supplies and equipment:
Refrigerators are needed to store chemicals and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) products at an average temperature of +4 degrees Celsius. PCR is used for the analysis of gene expression, cloning, sequencing, mutagenesis, and genotyping.
Freezers are used to store tissue cultures and samples that are frozen. You can get a refrigerator/freezer combination unit or buy them separately depending on your available space and the space needed for sample storage. The temperature range should be from -20 degrees Celsius to -80 degrees Celsius.
3. Vortex Mixer
Vortex mixers are used for mixing liquid components in tubes such as mixing small vials and for the resuspension of cells. These mixers are usually designed with touch or continuous modes and electronic speed control for constant speeds.
The molecular diagnostic lab should also include a refrigerated centrifuge with a minimum of 5000 rpm and non-refrigerated centrifuge depending on the temperature needed. Centrifuges are used to separate components based on density. Microcentrifuges are also used and should have a minimum of 15,000 rpm for 1.5 ml tubes.
5. Thermal Cycler
Thermal cyclers are needed in order to study the PCR. They have heating, cooling, and precise temperature controls that ensure temperature uniformity. They amplify segments of DNA through PCR.
Spectrophotometers determine the nucleic acid quantification by measuring light absorption or the quantity of chemicals in a solution. A light beam passes through the sample and the compounds transmit light over a wavelength.
7. DNA Sequencer
Sequencers are used to observe the DNA’s molecular sequence. The resulting patterns of DNA bands or sequences show how enzymes affect the DNA. A DNA sequencer is used to determine the order of guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine which is known as a text string.
Microscopes are used for observing and evaluating samples. The microscope should be equipped with a camera system for archiving test results.
9. Electrophoresis System
An electrophoresis system is used in the analysis of PCR. Molecular movement and separation can be observed during the electrophoresis process.
Autoclaves are used in molecular diagnostic labs to sterilize waste and lab equipment. Sterilization is accomplished by using heat to kill bacteria and spores.
Incubators are used to maintain optimal conditions such as temperature and humidity when growing and maintaining cultures. Incubators create the ideal environment.
12. pH Meter
pH Meters are scientific instruments used to measure hydrogen-ion activity in water-based solutions. It measures acidity or alkalinity.
Microtomes are used for sectioning. They are cutting tools that produce thin slices of material known as sections. The sectioning prepares samples for observation under radiation or transmitted light.
14. Water Bath
A water bath is used in labs to incubate samples in water kept at a constant temperature. Temperature is controlled either by a dial or digitally.
15. Gel Imaging System
Gel Imaging systems, ultraviolet light based or computed, measure and record stained acrylamide gels or agarose using a high tech digital platform. It analyzes proteins, nucleic acid, and antibodies.
Molecular diagnostic labs are having a huge impact on the treatment of patients. As a result, infectious diseases are being treated sooner and with more accuracy. In these labs, techniques are used to analyze biological markers in the proteome and genome. This also includes how cells express their genes as proteins. Ultimately, diseases are identified by studying DNA, RNA, and proteins in fluid or in a tissue. Molecules, genes, and cellular functions become abnormal and indicate specific diseases.
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