Biomarker Assays

This service is provided by the Biomarkers Core Laboratory.


The Biomarkers Core Laboratory (BCL) offers immunoassay based manual and automated analytical assays (ELISA/RIA/CLIA/Luminex) for the targeted and multiplexed quantitation of biomarkers in complex biological matrices. Currently, BCL services include over 180 biomarker assays and additional details on each of these platforms are given below.

BCL participates in proficiency testing programs such as CDC Lipid standardization program and AAB (American Association of Bioanalysts) proficiency testing service.

Starting in March 2020, the BCL is also providing support for COVID-19 research. 

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Radioimmunoassay (RIA)

ELISA and RIA based Immunoassays enable highly sensitive, accurate and precise quantitation of biomarkers such as hormones and inflammatory markers in response to various disease states. BCL offers ELISA and RIA based immunoassays for a variety of analytes in biological matrices such as plasma, serum, urine, saliva, and cells using commercially available ELISA and RIA kits.

We currently offer over 125 ELISA based assays.

  • Hormones: Cortisol, Estradiol, Testosterone, Adiponectin, Insulin
  • Inflammatory markers/growth factors: CRP, IL-6, IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, BDNF, FGF
  • Bone markers: P1NP, PTH, CTX, BALP, Osteocalcin
  • Other biomarkers: endothelin-1, ADMA, Oxytocin

The core houses multiple ELISA plate washers, and plate readers (Biotek, Molecular Devices and SpectraMax M5) and a Gamma Counter (Perkin Elmer, Waltham, MA) for RIAs.

Automated Immuno-Chemistry Platforms

Chemiluminescent Imunnoassays (CLIA) - IMMULITE® 1000

Chemiluminescent Immunoassays (CLIA)- IMMULITE® 1000

Chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA), a variation of the conventional colorimetric immunoassays combines immunochemical reactions with chemiluminescence detection. It offers a high throughput, sensitive, alternative technology with a broad dynamic range compared to ELISA.

BCL houses an automated CLIA analyzer, IMMULITE 1000 (Siemens Technologies) with a high throughput (120 tests/hour) and an extensive test menu for measuring inflammatory cytokines, reproductive endocrinology, thyroid function and routine serology tests. We currently offer 27 CLIA based assays on this platform using commercially available kits from Siemens technologies.

Major assays include:

  • Thyroid function markers: T3, T4 (free and total), TSH
  • Reproductive hormones: Estradiol, Progesterone Testosterone, FSH, LH
  • Inflammatory markers/growth factors: IL-6, IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IGF-1
  • Others: Cortisol, Insulin, PTH, SHBG, GH

Clinical Chemistry Analyzer - COBAS Integra® 400 Plus (Roche Diagnostics)

Clinical Chemistry Analyzer- COBAS Integra® 400 Plus (Roche Diagnostics)

Integra® 400 Plus is a fully automated, versatile multichannel chemistry analyzer capable of highly precise and sensitive photometric and turbidimetric measurements. It comes with a test throughput of up to 400 tests/hr and a broad test menu featuring over 120 assays including clinical chemistry, proteins, therapeutic drug monitoring, and drug of abuse testing. BCL currently offers about 27 tests utilizing the kits from Roche Diagnostics.

Major tests include:

  • Substrates: Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, Glucose, Creatinine, Albumin
  • Specific proteins: ApoB, ApoA1, CRP, Cystain C, HbA1C

Multiplex Immunoassays: Luminex™ 200

Luminex 200

Multianalyte profiling by Luminex allows for the simultaneous targeted quantitation of a wide array of analytes including cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, soluble receptors, and hormones. Luminex multiplex immunoassays have extensive applications in fields of endocrinology, neurobiology, cardiovascular and cancer biomarker research among others.

Luminex 200™ system  based on Luminex xMAP technology uses magnetic microsphere beads and offers simultaneous measurements of up to 100 analytes in as little as 25ul of sample with high sensitivity and precision. To learn more about Luminex xMAP technology and Luminex 200, please visit the Luminex website.

BCL has the expertise to process magnetic bead based multiplex assay kits  from a variety of manufacturers: Millipore Sigma, Bio-Rad, R&D systems and Thermofisher Scientific using the Luminex™ 200 system combined with data analysis software Milliplex® Analyst 5.1. The various sample types that can be processed include body fluids (plasma, serum, and saliva), cell extracts, and culture supernatants. The core can process multiplex kits that include up to 60 analytes. 


The BCL is open Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm. Samples may be dropped off during these hours and dry ice must be used during transportation.

Eligibility and Requirements

Biomarkers assay services are available to all researchers Columbia University Irving Medical Center and other academic institutions.

Investigators that are not affiliated with Columbia University will need to complete a service agreement that must be signed by the legal or purchasing departments of both parties. This process takes approximately four weeks to finalize. The requestor’s legal or purchasing department’s service agreement template is typically used, but one can be provided by Columbia if necessary. For more information on service agreements and pricing for non-CU initiated studies, please email the BCL director, Dr. Renu Nandakumar

The BCL is not Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified. The data generated from BCL is to be used for research purposes only and not for clinical and diagnostic applications.

Submitting Requests

A new protocol submission request must be initiated in iLab for every new project. Samples will not be accepted without an active service request. Additional request details forms must be submitted if more assays or samples need to be added to an existing protocol. Please contact us for the instructions on how to register and submit a service request through iLab.

Kit Purchasing

Investigators are responsible for purchasing the ELISA, RIA, and Luminex kits and shipping them to us to ensure the recommended storage. Please contact us for instructions on ordering RIA kits. The kits for some of the automated assays are purchased through the core. Please contact us for additional information.

Sample Submission

Please review the BCL’s User Policy and General Sample Submission Guidelines prior to submitting the samples and complete the downloadable sample list template to be delivered along with your samples.

When to Request This Service

We strongly encourage investigators to contact BCL director, Dr. Renu Nandakumar, prior to submitting a new service request. This will facilitate a discussion on the project, scope, feasibility, appropriate analytical strategy and other sample requirements.


A complete list of the ELISA, automated CLIA and clinical chemistry, and Luminex assays and their prices is available on our downloadable price list. If you do not find the assay that you are interested in, please contact the BCL director, Dr. Renu Nandakumar, and we will work with you to explore your options.

Internal investigators will be charged the advertised rate for all BCL services. A chart string is needed prior to initiating a project. An official cost estimate can be provided for all projects. Prices are agreed upon prior to the initiation of the project, but are subject to change on a yearly basis.

Cite it, Submit it, Share it!

If your research has benefited from one or more Irving Institute resources, please remember to:

  • Cite our CTSA grant, UL1 TR001873, in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters.
  • Submit your publications to PubMed Central (PMC) for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Share your research updates with us by sending an email to:


Biomarkers Core Laboratory
622 West 168th Street, 10th Floor, Room 105
Presbyterian Hospital Building, PH10-105
New York, NY 10032
United States