Vitamin B6 is one of those things that most people are probably dimly aware of and likely couldn’t tell you what it does. In fact, B6 is involved in a whole host of processes and is essential for things as diverse as brain development, blood circulation, proper immune function, and improved mood. The problem with B6 (as with a lot of micronutrients) is that many people are not getting enough, the issue for B6 is compounded by the fact that the currently available B6 screening assays are lengthy and complex, making it challenging for physicians to ascertain or monitor a patient’s B6 levels, making it hard to diagnose a deficiency.
Current B6 screening assays require extensive sample preparation and lengthy analysis times. The development of a rapid, high-throughput assay is an unmet need for front-line clinicians. A clinically relevant assay would need to be simple and efficient enough to routinely monitor B6 concentrations in the general population, sensitive enough to detect any low-level variations across populations, and reliable enough to function as a front-line method for the identification of vitamin B6 deficiency.
To develop a suitable high throughput assay, the researchers mapped each step in the existing analysis process with the goal of streamlining both the complex and time-consuming sample preparation portion of the protocol, and the lengthy instrument analysis segment.