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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009, Article ID 659219, 8 pages
Research Article

Epsilon Haemoglobin Specific Antibodies with Applications in Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnosis

1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
2Prenatal Research Unit, The Juliane Marie Center, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Department of Human Genetics, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark

Received 18 March 2009; Accepted 21 May 2009

Academic Editor: Harry W. Schroeder

Copyright © 2009 Morten Dræby Sørensen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis are associated with increased risk of abortion; thus, development of noninvasive procedures would be beneficial. Based on the observation that embryonic nucleated red blood cell (NRBC) crosses the placenta and enters the circulation of pregnant women, the ability to identify such cell would allow development of such procedures. Identification of NRBCs in blood samples would be possible provided that specific antibodies are available. Here we have isolated recombinant antibodies using phage display. From the panel of antibody fragments specifically recognising -Hb, one was chosen for further characterization, DAb1. DAb1 binds to -Hb both in Western blots and immunocytochemistry. Several -Hb positive cells were detected in a blood sample taken as postchorionic villus sampling (CVS). To evaluate the sensitivity of the method, K562 cells (which express -Hb) were spiked in a blood sample followed by staining in solution and FACS analysis.