Quantitative DNA Methylation Analyses Using Droplet Digital PCR Identifies Substance Use

30 November 2016

Rob Philibert, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, Behavioral Diagnostics, Inc., describes an epigenetic diagnostic tool, based on droplet digital PCR, for the detection and quantification of cigarette and alcohol consumption. Smoke Signature®, the company’s first epigenetic assay, currently impending release, will allow clinicians to perform quantitative assessment of cigarette consumption in a matter of hours from blood and saliva samples, with a detection limit of 0.1-0.2%. This innovative assay, which overcomes sensitivity and specificity limitations of traditional methods, is also being developed for the detection of alcohol as well as other substances of abuse. In the future, Dr Philibert expects the new assays to enable clinicians and researches to develop new treatments, improve intervention and prevention strategies and benefit health of the community.