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LABORATORY

About Us / Laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientists at The MELISA Institute work relying on cutting edge laboratory technologies in immunoassay, proteomics and genomics that enable us to research on the causes affecting maternal, embryonic and fetal health, thus working on developing therapeutic options that improve or restore maternal, embryonic or fetal health from early stages of pregnancy.

 

Next-Generation DNA Sequencing

Next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) is a state of the art technology that enables researchers to sequence DNA and RNA much faster than ever. This development has revolutionized the study of genomics. With NGS an entire human genome can be sequenced in a single day.

This genomics technology opens our research capabilities into very detailed and specific regions of the human genome, bringing new opportunities to detect non-frequent genetic variants or disease related anomalies, as well as genetic diseases like Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21).

Equipment: Illumina NextSeq 500 Sequencing System, an integrated system for automated generation of DNA clonal clusters by bridge amplification, sequencing, and primary analysis.

 

Real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real-time PCR)

Real-time PCR is a measurement technique useful for quantifying gene transcription (production of DNA coded molecules), providing the amount of genetic expression of a specific gene and how it increases or decreases; displaying in what manner gene activity is influenced by biological, environmental or pharmacological factors. Embryonic differentiation in early pregnancy, triggers several unknown or poorly understood maternal and embryonic transcription processes that reveal the presence of the embryo within the first days of pregnancy.

Real-time PCR is also useful in identifying specific gene activity in several types of cancer that affect women, opening a new window to research different types of cancer, their causes and pathologic processes, in order to develop new therapeutic options.

Equipment: StepOnePlus Real-Time PCR system

Time-lapse Fluorescence Microscope

As a technological evolution of the classic microscopy system, this Time-lapse Fluorescence Microscope, has a powerful detection potential by fluorescence (light generated by electromagnetic radiation) that enable us to identify thousands of organic structures such as cells. The microscope`s built in time-lapse capabilities provide the opportunity to make observations on how cultured cells function over a specific timespan, showing highly valuable information on cell dynamics.

Equipment: EVOS FL Auto Cell Imaging System 

 Nucleic Acid Transfection

Transfection is the process of delivering nucleic acids to specific cells, providing unseen gene editing capabilities to targeted cells through novel technologies like CRISPR-Cas9. These techniques are revolutionizing genetic research, diagnostics and therapeutics, offering remarkable opportunities within those fields to our scientific team.

Equipment: Thermo Fisher Scientific – Neon Transfection

 

Western blot

Western blot is an analytical molecular biology technique, used in cell and molecular biology to detect specific proteins within a complex mixture of proteins in a carefully processed tissue sample or extract.  This process provides valuable information on the features of specific proteins based on their molecular weight.

Equipment: LI-COR Odyssey CLx

 
ELISA

Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) is an immunoassay technique that helps identify specific substances with targeted antibodies for a broad range of applications such as DNA or RNA quantification.

Equipment: TECAN Infinite 200 PRO Nanoquant, capable of measuring up to 16 samples simultaneously from sample volumes as low as 2 μl, reliably detecting nucleic acid concentrations with just 1 ng/μl

 

Cell culture

This technique enables highly controlled cell growing conditions through a Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinet. Our scientists use this technique to study and maintain cell lines independently from their tissue of origin.

Equipment: NuAire Class II, Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinet