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Glycation is the result of a sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose, bonding to a protein or lipid molecule without the controlling action of an enzyme. It is a haphazard process that impairs the functioning of biomolecules. The high levels of glucose present in diabetes mellitus results in increased glycation of all proteins, including, albumin. Measurement of the amount of the glycation reaction resulting from the combination of glucose with free amino groups in proteins present in the blood is used to monitor the level of glucose that has generally been present in body fluids over a preceding period. Thus serum glycated albumin assay can be used to determine the current level of glycation of albumin, the most abundant plasma protein. Hence, the glycated albumin assay may be used as a marker of glycemic control in diabetes and reflects glycemic control over the previous 2 to 4 weeks.
The glycated albumin assay is an automated enzymic method.