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Technology Topper:
CHORI Scientists Receives R&D 100 Award

Every year, R&D Magazine identifies the 100 most technologically significant products of the year. A new technique for analyzing cholesterol developed by CHORI Senior Scientist, Ronald Krauss, MD, CHORI scientist Pat Blanche and Henry Benner of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been honored with one of the coveted R&D 100 Awards for 2005.

“It’s elegant, it’s just really elegant,” says Dr. Krauss of the Ion Mobility Analysis, a technique that utilizes charge and drift velocity to separate and count lipoproteins by weight and size.

Although Dr. Krauss is quick to acknowledge that he didn’t invent the methodology himself, he and his colleagues did determine how the technique could be applied to the measurement of lipoproteins. This work was initiated several years ago, when the scientists were all working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

For those in the know, lipoproteins are major players in cardiovascular health and disease: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), more commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol, are necessary for the body’s healthy function, while low-density lipoproteins (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol, cause arteries to clog. Traditional cholesterol measurements capture an overall picture of cardiovascular disease risk by identifying an individual’s general HDL and LDL levels. But nearly half of the one million Americans who experience a heart attack every year have normal cholesterol levels.

Enter the Ion Mobility Analysis.

“It brings another dimension to cholesterol measurement,” explains Dr. Krauss, “which is the number of bad LDL particles and good HDL particles in a given individual.”

Dr. Krauss and his colleagues are among a number of individuals who have been striving to develop a measurement technology to capture LDL subcategories since Dr. Krauss's pivotal research in the 1980's, which established the association of the smallest, dense LDL particles with a significant increase in cardiovascular disease risk.

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Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM

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