This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
00:03:17 1 Etymology
00:04:34 2 General steps
00:09:01 3 Assay types based on the nature of the assay process
00:09:13 3.1 Time and number of measurements taken
00:10:08 3.2 Number of analytes detected
00:10:54 3.3 Result type
00:12:53 3.4 Sample type and method
00:13:55 3.5 Signal amplification
00:15:17 3.6 Detection method or technology
00:17:51 4 Assay types based on the targets being measured
00:18:02 4.1 DNA
00:18:24 4.2 Protein
00:18:44 4.3 RNA
00:18:57 4.4 Cell counting, viability, proliferation or cytotoxicity assays
00:20:30 4.5 Environmental or Food Contaminants
00:20:45 4.6 Surfactants
00:21:01 4.7 Other cell assays
00:22:50 4.8 Petrochemistry
00:23:01 4.9 Virology
00:23:41 4.10 Cellular secretions
00:24:08 4.11 Drugs
00:24:22 5 Quality
00:26:07 6 See also
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An assay is an investigative (analytic) procedure in laboratory medicine, pharmacology, environmental biology and molecular biology for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence, amount, or functional activity of a target entity (the analyte). The analyte can be a drug, a biochemical substance, or a cell in an organism or organic sample. The measured entity is generally called the analyte, the measurand or the target of the assay. The assay usually aims to measure an intensive property of the analyte and express it in the relevant measurement unit (e.g. molarity, density, functional activity in enzyme international units, degree of some effect in comparison to a standard, etc.).
If the assay involves addition of exogenous reactants (the reagents), then their quantities are kept fixed (or in excess) so that the quantity (and quality) of the target is the only limiting factor for the reaction/assay process, and the difference in the assay outcome is used to deduce the unknown quality or quantity of the target in question. Some assays (e.g., biochemical assays) may be similar to or have overlap with chemical analysis and titration. But generally, assays involve biological material or phenomena which tend to be intrinsically more complex either in composition or in behavior or both. Thus reading of an assay may be quite noisy and may involve greater difficulties in interpretation than an accurate chemical titration. On the other hand, older generation qualitative assays, especially bioassays, may be much more gross and less quantitative (e.g., counting death or dysfunction of an organism or cells in a population, or some descriptive change in some body part of a group of animals).
Assays have become a routine part of modern medical, environmental, pharmaceutical, forensic and many other businesses at various scales from industrial to curbside or field level. Those assays that are very highly commercially demanded have been well investigated in research and development sectors of professional industries, undergone generations of development and sophistication, and in some cases are protected by the regulation of the use of Intellectual property such as patents granted for inventions or various regulatory incentives and exclusive rights. Such industrial scale assays as these are often done in well equipped laboratories and with automated organization of the procedure—from ordering an assay to pre-analytic sample processing (sample collection, necessary manipulations e.g. spinning for separation or other processes, aliquoting if necessary, storage, retrieval, pipetting/aspiration etc.). Analytes are generally tested in high throughput AutoAnalyzers, and the results are verified and automatically returned to ordering service providers and end users. These are made possible through use of advanced Laboratory informatics system that interfaces with multiple computer terminals with end users, central ...