Technology

All Samples are processed and reported in our CLIA licensed laboratory.

Gene expression Profiling with a Scalpel-Free Biopsy

Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are generated within cells and both reflect and influence gene activity. RNA is ubiquitous on skin—but so are RNAses, enzymes that digest RNA and protect against infection with viral RNA. DermTech has developed a powerful platform technology to harvest RNA from skin for molecular analysis. This novel, non-invasive method uses adhesive patches to collect tissue of the most superficial skin layers, which can then be analyzed by quantitative PCR or microarray technology to determine gene expression.

RNA-based gene expression profiles reflect differences in biological state of various tissues and therefore carry great potential for the development of tailored therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Until most recently, obtaining the tissue for analysis required invasive biopsies and skin was no exception. However, research at DermTech 1-4  has shown that skin cell RNA can be readily harvested and used to track biological response with broad applications in drug discovery, inflammation, cancer, and aging. It has the potential to not only augment or replace invasive biopsies in circumstances where invasive sampling is the current norm, but also to expand the use of gene expression skin profiling into new areas.