Inflammation is a process by which the body's white blood cells and chemicals protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. In some diseases, however, the body's immune system inappropriately triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off.
In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body's normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal. In many autoimmune diseases, the uncontrolled activation of inflammatory pathways causes serious damage to cells, tissue, joints, or organs. There are about 80 autoimmune diseases which affect more than 50 million people in the United States. Common autoimmune diseases include arthritis, allergies, lupus, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, asthma, and psoriasis.
Without inflammation, humans would quickly die as our bodies succumbed to bacteria and viruses. However, over time the same inflammatory process that keeps us alive can lead to disease and death. Unlike the inflammation caused by a paper cut, most inflammation is not just skin-deep. It is far more insidious. This hidden inflammation quietly becomes worse with age, wreaking havoc on all of the systems of our body, causing debilitating diseases and pain. Given the breadth of affected tissues and resulting diseases, researchers are working hard to unravel the complex mechanisms by which inflammation affects the body.
Molecular Devices provides a wide range of tools to support life science and drug discovery research. Our high-content, label-free, and microplate analysis systems support investigations into complex signaling pathways and can help drive the success of your inflammation research efforts. We also provide a well-respected line of microarray scanners and numerous functional assays. Please use the links below to learn more about how our bioanalytical products can help drive the success of your research.