Author: Martin Rothlisberger

TBMRFAADOBE – This is not a new software product from a company with a familiar name. The acronym stands for “The Bare Minimum Requirements For An Article Describing Optical Biosensor Experiments”! Year after year David G. Myszka and Rebecca L. Rich, Biosensor Tools LLC, Salt Lakce City, USA, have been reading hundreds of articles on optical biosensors and published annually critical reviews in the Journal of Molecular Recognition. Over this time, they have collected and read more than 10 000 papers that describe using biosensor technology. For the 2009 literature they had a very new idea! They thought what better way to take a break than to take a Caribbean cruise—which they did—along with 22 other scientists as part of an advanced biosensor workshop in March of 2010.

They say: “These individuals are all biosensor professionals making a living applying the technology in different capacities. They work in industrial, government, and academic institutions. And combined, they have more than 150 years of experience using the technology.” To put it into perspective, that is like one person running biosensor experiments since the invention of the light bulb.

Some of these biosensor users work with antibodies and proteins, whereas others focus on small molecules and fragment screening. But they all share a common passion for biosensor technology, and because of kinetosis, each stared intently out the port side window as Cuba rolled up and down on the horizon. Gaining our equilibrium, we presented the first item on the meeting agenda: should we bother reviewing the biosensor literature? (So much for a break.)

En masse, the response was “yes.” This group felt that critical reviews were essential to scientific progress. What the group did not know at the time was that they were about to become active participants in the review process. To avoid shipping costs and luggage handling fees, Myszka and Rich had hauled more than 1500 papers from Salt Lake City to the Port at Miami. Apparently, transportation security has an extra pat‐down procedure for travellers who have 100 pounds of paper in their carry‐on luggage and no toothpaste.

Lesson no. 1 the participants learned from the review process was that when you read a big stack of papers all at one time, you get a better sense of how often critical information is missing in a publication. So the first thing we had to decide on as a group was what information should be required for a publication. The group came to the consensus that scientific reports should include enough information so that a reasonably skilled user could replicate the study.

If you are interested in optical biosensors and if these keywords are important to you: affinity; Biacore; biolayer interferometry; biomolecular interaction analysis; evanescent wave; kinetics; resonant mirror; surface plasmon resonance [SPR], then you should not hesitate to read the review of David G. Myszka and Rebecca L. Rich and to make sure that your measurements will stand up to the Bare Minimum Requirements ….

Leave a Reply

Kindly review our community guidelines before leaving a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *