Agilent Technologies' new spin cartridges remove high-abundance proteins from blood serum using benchtop centrifuge

Simple, low-cost tools help scientists study potential biomarkers of drug toxicity and disease

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 18, 2004

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced simple, low-cost proteomics tools to remove the most abundant proteins from human and mouse blood serum. The new Agilent multiple affinity removal spin cartridges allow depletion of high-abundance proteins using a standard benchtop centrifuge rather than more costly high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instrumentation.

The cartridges enable more researchers to unmask rare, previously undetected proteins, which may act as biological markers ("biomarkers"). Scientists are interested in biomarkers for potential use in early cancer detection, rapid assessment of heart attacks, and early assessment of drug toxicity or efficacy.

Many proteomics researchers do not have access to HPLC instruments, but most work with centrifuge equipment regularly. This new version of the Agilent multiple affinity removal system removes proteins using a simple procedure, microcentrifuge equipment and disposable syringes. It is designed for those who are unable to run an HPLC instrument or who want to free up their HPLC for other tasks. The use of a centrifuge also saves time by enabling simultaneous processing of multiple samples.

The reusable spin cartridges are based on the same technology as Agilent's popular multiple affinity removal LC columns and provide similar performance. This technology is designed to help scientists rapidly identify low-abundance proteins. After comparative tests of multiple technologies performed by more than 30 laboratories, the Human Proteome Organization and its Plasma Proteome Initiative found that there is a significant benefit in the depletion of the major high-abundance proteins prior to further separation and analysis.

Blood serum provides several advantages over tissue specimens as a sample medium for proteomics research. It is believed to be a rich source of biomarkers with the largest set of proteins expressed in any biological sample. Serum is also readily available and can be easily extracted, whereas tissue samples can be difficult to collect.

The cartridges use affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies to remove more than 98 percent of the six most abundant proteins (albumin, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin A, alpha-1-antitrypsin, transferrin and haptoglobin) in human serum and the three most abundant proteins (albumin, immunoglobulin G and transferrin) in mouse serum, with minimal non-specific removal of other proteins. These proteins comprise approximately 85 and 80 percent of the protein mass in human and mouse serum, respectively. The cartridges help researchers detect the lower-concentration proteins hidden in the remaining portion.


Agilent's multiple affinity removal spin cartridge for human serum is available now. The spin cartridge for mouse serum is expected to be available in November.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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Christina Maehr
+1 408 553 7205