Billerica, MA, October 14, 2014 – Seahorse Bioscience and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have announced that they have entered into a partnership to study the bioenergetic health of cells in cryopreserved blood – a step that will ultimately produce a first-of-its-kind clinical test of metabolic bioenergetic health. As cutting-edge work is now being done on metabolo-therapeutics, there is a critical need to develop indicators of patients' metabolic status so that a targeted therapeutic approach for each patient can be administered. The development of a bioenergetic cryopreserved blood procedure is essential in order to collect enough samples to expand beyond the limitations of fresh blood samples.

The UAB's Mitochondrial Medicine Laboratory, under the direction of Victor M. Darley-Usmar, Ph.D., Professor of the UAB Department of Pathology, is at the forefront of establishing the bioenergetic health index (BHI) as a new, universally deployed clinical test for assessing bioenergetic dysfunction, especially early in disease progression before significant pathology and/or prior to the development of life-threatening conditions. If successful, the BHI test will then become an important approach to integrating personalized medicine with state-of-the-art translational bioenergetics. The collection of cryopreserved blood will be critical to the validation of the bioenergetic health test.

"Direct links between human mitochondrial function and acute disease progression, as well as chronic disease susceptibility, makes it imperative to incorporate clinically relevant measurements of mitochondrial bioenergetics into patient management decisions, stated Dr. Kevin A. Roth, Chair of the UAB Department of Pathology, whose clinical pathology and services laboratory runs over 6 million procedures per year. "The Department of Pathology's Mitochondrial Medicine Laboratory strives to develop and validate accurate, high-throughput tests of the Bioenergetic Health Index in human patient samples. The unique partnership between Seahorse Bioscience and the UAB Mitochondrial Medicine Laboratory will advance our understanding of mitochondrial function in human disease pathogenesis, and potentially provide actionable clinical information to improve patient health."

Seahorse Bioscience XF technology measures mitochondrial respiration in cells, and enables the development of a sensitive and rapid method for the measurement of cellular energetics in cells isolated and cryopreserved from blood. The frozen cells will be tested for viability, activation, cellular bioenergetics and oxidative burst. Fresh samples collected from the same donors will be compared with the frozen cells by simultaneously performing the bioenergetic assay using the Seahorse Bioscience XF Analyzer. "Technology that can measure bioenergetic health is very new and Seahorse has the only platform that can contribute to our work," explained Victor M. Darley-Usmar, Ph.D.

Victor M. Darley-Usmar, Ph.D., has been collaborating with Seahorse Bioscience since 2007 and was instrumental in the validation of the XF Cell Mito Stress Test, which is the ‘gold standard' in measuring energetic health. "Victor is the leading international authority in bioenergetics and is an expert in mitochondrial physiology," stated David Ferrick, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for Seahorse Bioscience. "The UAB hospital is in an excellent position to bring our findings to human patients for personalized medicine."

About Seahorse Bioscience

Seahorse Bioscience metabolic analyzers and stress test kits are the industry standard in cell metabolism measurements. Scientists worldwide are using XF technology to advance their research in understanding the role of cell metabolism in neurodegeneration, aging, cancer, cardiovascular, cell physiology, toxicology and hepatobiology, immunology, infectious diseases, mitochondrial diseases, model organisms, obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, screening and translational medicine. Founded in 2001, Seahorse Bioscience is headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, U.S., and has regional offices in Copenhagen, Denmark and Shanghai, China. Learn more at

About the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine has nearly 900 students and 1,200 residents and fellows and more than 1,100 full-time faculty who attract more than $200 million in NIH funding. University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine is home of The Kirklin Clinic, a multi-disciplinary medical home; and University Hospital, one of the largest academic hospitals in the country. Learn more at

-This story was reprinted from the Seahorse Bioscience website.