Food, pollen, and other allergies afflict half of Japan’s population. Incidence rates are rising, particularly among infants and young adults. Infants often have multiple allergies. It is common in medicine to identify such ailments by using in vitro diagnostic products that measure allergen-specific IgE antibody levels in the blood. An issue with simultaneously measuring allergen-specific IgE antibodies from small blood samples to alleviate stress has been that proteins, cells, and other contaminants in the blood impede accurate measurements.
Toray was able to attain high precision from measurements with small samples by combining the microarray technology of 3D-Gene®, a highly sensitive DNA chip that can simultaneously detect multiple genes, and a low-fouling polymer technology to prevent blood component adhesion that the company created in developing artificial kidneys for hemodialysis patients. In-house verification testing confirmed that Toray’s product, which simultaneously measures multiple allergy items from 20 microliters of blood, has a quantitative correlation exceeding 95% with existing in-vitro diagnostic products that measure single items.