Clinical Research

Tools to Support Clinical Research

For over 30 years, BD has supported the work of clinical researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of clinical medicine. Continuing its long-standing commitment, today BD Biosciences instruments and reagent products support a range of efforts to better understand the complexities of the human immune system in healthy and disease states and ultimately progress the standards of human care.

BD Biosciences products support a broad range of immunophenotyping and intracellular staining reagents for blood cell disorders and tools for the study of cell cycle, proliferation, and cell death.

Oncology, the study of cancer, is a complex area of human disease with many challenges including heterogeneity of disease and limited samples. Throughout the world, BD Biosciences tools help clinical researchers study genes, proteins, and cells to better understand disease, improve diagnosis and disease management, and facilitate the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. BD Biosciences clinical oncology research solutions range from antibodies to cellular markers for isolation of specific subpopulations, and determination of cytokine expression, transcription factors, and phosphorylation status.

Blood Cell Disorder Research

Leukemias are cancers of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal proliferation of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leucocytes). Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases called hematological neoplasms. BD Biosciences supports leukemia clinical research with a broad range of immunophenotyping and intracellular staining reagents for flow cytometry applications to support scientists looking to understand the biological aspects of these cellular abnormalities. Of particular interest to clinical researchers is the exploration of signaling pathways in leukemic cells and the role of stem cells in blood cancers.

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) research

ALL is a cancer of the blood in which too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced by the bone marrow and by organs of the lymph system.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) research

AML, also called granulocytic, myelocytic, myeloblastic, or myeloid leukemia, is a cancer of the blood in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell that normally fights infection, are produced in the bone marrow. In addition to overpowering other important cells, these over-produced granulocytes do not mature correctly.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) research

CLL is a cancer of the blood in which too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced by the bone marrow and by organs of the lymph system. Normally, the lymphocytes fight infection by making antibodies that attack harmful elements. But in CLL, the cells are immature and overabundant. They crowd out other blood cells, and may collect in the blood, bone marrow, and lymph tissue.


Coustan-Smith E, Ribeiro RC, Stow P, et al. A simplified flow cytometric assay identifies children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who have a superior clinical outcome. Blood. 2006;108:97-102.

Schroers R, Griesinger F, Trümper L, et al. Combined analysis of ZAP-70 and CD38 expression as a predictor of disease progression in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leukemia. 2005;19:750-758.

Rawstron AC, Villamor N, Ritgen M, et al. International standardized approach for flow cytometric residual disease monitoring in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Leukemia. 2007;2:956-964.

Cell Cycle, Proliferation, and Cell Death Research

Cell cycle, proliferation, and cell death play important roles in development and tissue homeostasis. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is of particular importance in cancer research. The ability of cells to escape normal apoptotic pathways leads to a survival advantage for malignant cells. In contrast, too much apoptosis contributes to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. BD Biosciences tools for the study of cell cycle, proliferation, and cell death include BD Pharmingen™ Annexin V kits, BD Phamingen BrdU kits, and antibodies to cyclins and activated caspases optimized for use on BD flow cytometry systems.

Tools that assist your research on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and vaccine development including our patented antigen-specific T-cell response assays.

Today BD Biosciences reagents and flow cytometry systems are helping scientists understand the intricacies of human immune function. The human immune system’s response to infectious agents is key to understanding the mechanisms of infection and host response variability and of intense interest to clinical researchers who hope to use this information to inform better treatment and vaccine strategies. BD Biosciences supports a wide range of efforts to understand infectious disease including the devastating diseases caused by HIV infection.

Products for HIV/AIDS Research

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to opportunistic infections. HIV primarily infects helper T cells (specifically CD4 + T cells and CD8 + T cells), macrophages, and dendritic cells. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4 + T cells and an inversion of the CD4/CD8 ratio, through three main mechanisms: direct viral killing of infected cells, increased rates of apoptosis in infected cells, and killing of infected CD4 + T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells. When CD4 + T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body becomes progressively more susceptible to opportunistic infections.


Trautmann L, Janbazaian L, Chomont N, et al. Upregulation of PD-1 expression on HIV-specific CD8+ T cells leads to reversible immune dysfunction. Nature Med. 2006;12:1198-1202.

Riou C, Yassine-Diab B, Van grevenynghe J, et al. Convergence of TCR and cytokine signaling leads to FOXO3a phosphorylation and drives the survival of CD4+ central memory T cells. J Exp Med. 2007;204:79-91.

Vaccine Research

The goal of vaccination is to prime the immune system against a specific target so that a pool of antibody and memory cells can rapidly expand upon renewed contact with the antigen. This ‘primed’ state thus protects the host against infection. BD Biosciences tools that can assist in vaccine research and clinical trials include our patented assays for antigen-specific T-cell responses via multicolor flow cytometry or traditional ELISPOT. In addition, a variety of BD reagents and intracellular cytokine staining protocols are available to characterize the quality of immune response. BD Lyoplate™ and standardization program services available via the BD Custom Technologies Team offer clinical researchers powerful ways to reduce data variability in their flow cytometry experiments, boosting data quality and consistency in longitudinal and multi-site clinical trials.


Stoitzner P, Green LK, Jung JY, et al. Tumor immunotherapy by epicutaneous immunization requires langerhans cells. J Immunol. 2008;180:1991-1998.

Sun Y, Santra S, Schmitz JE, Roederer M, Letvin NL. Magnitude and quality of vaccine-elicited T-cell responses in the control of immunodeficiency virus replication in rhesus monkeys. J Virol. 2008;82:8812-8819.

Leading-edge inflammatory cytokine and chemokine detection assays.

Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which results in an immune response against its own cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease. Prominent examples include multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes, and lupus. BD Biosciences supports autoimmune clinical research with a broad range of reagents for flow cytometry applications to help scientists understand the intricacies of human immune function. This research area has given rise to many exciting new areas of study, such as Th17 and regulatory T cells (Tregs), that may hold important clues to our understanding of autoimmunity-related diseases.

Products for Multiple Sclerosis Research

MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata, is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system, leading to demyelination. It has been reported that MS patients may have a reduced number of whole (or subsets of) regulatory T cells, (such as CD39 positive) and abnormal levels of Th17 cells.


Melzer N, Meuth SG, Torres-Salazar D, et al. A beta-lactam antibiotic dampens excitotoxic inflammatory CNS damage in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. PLoS One. 2008;3:e3149.

Products for Lupus Research

Lupus is an autoimmune disease with B-cell hypereactivity and defective T-cell function. BD Biosciences carries several tools for the study of lupus including antibodies to CD20 and CD22 for the study of B cells. For the study of T cells, BD Biosciences carries antibodies, cocktails, and kits specific to regulatory, Th17, and other T cells.


Mehrad B, Park SJ, Akangire G, et al. The lupus-susceptibility locus, Sle3, mediates enhanced resistance to bacterial infections. J Immunol. 2006;176:3233-3239.

Sharabi A, Luger D, Ben-David H, Dayan M, Zinger H, Mozes E. The role of apoptosis in the ameliorating effects of a CDR1-based peptide on lupus manifestations in a mouse model. J Immunol. 2007;179:4979-4987.

Products for Crohn’s Disease Research

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease of the gastrointestinal tract resulting in inflammation, abdominal pain, and weight loss. While the exact defect in immune function is not yet defined, several have been proposed including over-reactive-Th1 cytokine response, impaired innate immunity, and defects in Th17. Active Crohn’s disease has been associated with increases in IL-17F gene expression. Tools for the study of Crohn’s disease include kits to measure cytokine levels (CBA), antibodies to cytokines, and antibodies, kits, and cocktails for the phenotyping of T cells.

Products for Arthritis Research

RA is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by joint inflammation and bone and cartilage erosion. Cytokines produced by infiltrating activated macrophages and T cells are involved in osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Using BD Biosciences antibodies and kits including antibodies to cytokines and T-cell markers, infiltrating cells such as Th17 and regulatory T cells can be identified and cytokine levels can be measured.


Rankin AL, Reed AJ, Oh S, et al. CD4 + T cells recognizing a single self-peptide expressed by APCs induce spontaneous autoimmune arthritis. J Immunol. 2008;180:833-841.

Powerful tools to study Tregs, cytokines, and markers of suppression.

Transplantation is a life-saving procedure for many pathological conditions. Control of the immune system is essential for the prevention of tissue graft rejection. Immune suppression can make patients more vulnerable to infection. In a bone marrow transplant, a new immune system is reconstituted. However, if the transplanted bone marrow is not matched, it can lead to the immune system attacking the host, or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

BD Biosciences has many tools to assist in transplantation research that include markers of stem cell differentiation such as CD34 and hematopoietic stem cell identification and isolation kits, as well as tools for the study of cellular immunity such as effector and regulatory T cell markers.


Fischer JC, Ottinger H, Ferencik S, et al. Relevance of C1 and C2 epitopes for hemopoietic stem cell transplantation: role for sequential acquisition of HLA-C-specific inhibitory killer Ig-like receptor. J Immunol. 2007;178:3918-3923. 

Golshayan D, Jiang S, Tsang J, Garin MI, Mottet C, Lechler RI. In vitro-expanded donor alloantigen-specific CD4 +CD25 + regulatory T cells promote experimental transplantation tolerance. Blood. 2007;109:827-835.

Chakraverty R, Flutter B, Fallah-Arani F, et al. The host environment regulates the function of CD8 + graft-versus-host-reactive effector cells. J Immunol. 2008;181:6820-6828. 

Gondek DC, Devries V, Nowak EC, et al. Transplantation survival is maintained by granzyme B + regulatory cells and adaptive regulatory T cells. J Immunol. 2008;181:4752-4760.

Tools to study the immune system's key role in cardiovascular disease.

Inflammation mediated by the secretion of cytokines such as TNF, IFN-γ, and IL-2 has been shown to be a contributing factor to congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, and transplant rejection. Th17 (IL-17 secreting T cells) may also contribute to cardiovascular disease. The scavenger receptor, CD36, is reported to be involved in vascular cell inflammation and atherosclerosis. To support this evolving area of research, BD Biosciences has tools such as Cytometeric Bead Arrays (CBA kits) for the measurement of multiple cytokines within a single sample, as well as antibodies and panels for the phenotyping of infiltrating immune cells.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.