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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The importance of the measurement of ATP depletion and subsequent cell damage with an estimate of size and nature of the market for a practicable method: a review designed for technology transfer.

ATP is the energy currency of cells. ATP depletion is a central process in pathogenesis, in particular ischaemia, hypoxia and hypoglycaemia. ATP depletion in cells can be indirectly measured from the increased concentrations of extracellular hypoxanthine, a central intermediate in the metabolism of ATP. Cell damage secondary to ATP depletion can also be measured from extracellular hypoxanthine. The relevant biochemistry and physiology is briefly reviewed. Since market size is needed for investment decisions that would allow technology transfer, the numbers of hypoxanthine analyses that are clinically justified from the extensive published evidence are calculated per million population from UK, Norwegian and other evidence. The concentration of oxygen in blood is measured to estimate whether mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is adequate. Measurements of bicarbonate are used to estimate anaerobic glycolysis. Since the indirect estimation of ATP depletion is a major objective of blood gas and acid-base analyses, the number of such analyses per million population provides a good estimate of potential market size for a more direct method of estimating ATP depletion. A method is required for the rapid, dispersed emergency analyses needed clinically. Routes for method development are indicated. Competition, risks, acceptability, consumer motivation and timetables are indicated for the development phase. There are medicolegal pressures, especially in the USA, for the proposed advances to be widely used.[1]


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