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Monitoring of Oxidative Stress levels has just gotten a lot easier

von Réka Enz

Product Launch: BQC Redox System

Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage. As a physiological condition it is often stated in connection with a number of diseases in humans, amongst them neurological, metabolic, or cardiovascular disorders, and of course cancer and many age related diseases.[1]

Due to the transient nature of this imbalance, the direct measurement in biofluid samples is very difficult. Therefore the antioxidant capacity of body fluids is usually measured as an indirect marker of the oxidative stress state.

To date, measuring the redox state is done by various lab based tests, all of which look at certain chemical reactions reflecting the redox state, and all of which are dependent on a dedicated lab, skilled personnel, costly ingredients, and considerable amounts of time and labor needed to achieve results.

Hence, the current methodologies allow for the determination of general redox capacities of sample types on large time scales at quite an effort, but certainly not for short checks with the chance of an intervention depending on the result. One of the consequences of the relative difficulty of achieving such results is a general lack of testing for redox related parameters.

This issue has been addressed recently by our new supplier. BioQuoChem from Oviedo in Spain have put the test for any sample´s redox state on a new basis. Rather than looking at redox triggered color reactions in a biochemical assay with the abovementioned shortcomings in labor, time, cost, and precision, our new partners have – in a very true sense - instrumentalised their expertise with the electrochemical side of the redox status. The result is a small handheld device which is controlled via Bluetooth by a simple smartphone, the BRS (BioQuoChem Redox System). Samples are applied to a chip stuck in the device, just a simple drop with minimal preparation, and the result as a TAC count (total antioxidant capacity) is provided within seconds. No need for a lab, no need for highly trained personnel, no need to wait for results. The TAC readout is comparable to what you may know from ORAC assays and typically used as a relative measure comparing samples to each other. If needed it can be easily normalized by comparing to a standard curve based on known oxidants, e.g. vitamin C.

With this little tool checking the redox status of any given sample can be done any time, anywhere, by anyone. In the clinical and biomed world it can truly move the test from the proverbial bench to the bedside, and a quick test on the oxidative stress is neither effort nor much of a cost any longer.

We are excited to provide and support this tool in our market starting now, and we look forward to seeing people use it to better understand their samples´ redox status.

In a coming episode we are going to expand on the implications of another big field that the redox status also matters for: food and beverages, and agricultural products. Stay tuned!


1. "Oxidative Stress". Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures. New York, NY: Springer New York. 2010. p. 4278–4278. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-78665-0_6275. ISBN 978-0-387-78664-3. Definition: Imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants.