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Clinical Biochemistry Lab Report: Validating a Method of Measuring Glucose Concentrations

Background

Diabetes mellitus is a serious and growing health problem worldwide. The disease is caused by a failure of the body to adequately control the concentration of glucose in the blood, which must be kept within narrow limits in order to allow the cells of the body to function properly (Lawal, 2008). In type I diabetes, autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing pancreatic b-cells leads to a lack of insulin in the blood, the key hormone which regulates blood glucose levels. In contrast, late-onset type II diabetes is characterised by high insulin levels but impaired response of the tissues to this hormone.

Therefore, the first target for future work would be to repeat the current experiment and demonstrate that this laboratory assay can give extremely accurate readings when carried out effectively. It may then be interesting to compare the performance of this assay in the laboratory to the assay used by portable glucose monitors, to assess to what extent the performance of these devices is sub-optimal. In the long-term, it is hoped that further technological advances may improve the accuracy of these monitors to eliminate the possibility of dangerous readings (Montagnana et al., 2009).

Appropriately validating biochemical assays used for medical purposes is critical. As diabetics need to keep their blood glucose concentrations within narrow limits, it is crucial that the methods used to measure blood glucose levels are properly tested and validated to make sure they are sufficiently accurate to guide the patient's insulin injections. This is also true for a whole range of different biochemical assays used in a medical setting.

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