Blood-based Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Profiling

Blood-based mitochondrial bioenergetics profiling is a minimally invasive, inexpensive, high throughput, rapid blood-based test to measure and monitor mitochondrial bioenergetic capacity. This test is being developed for presymptomatic risk determination and can be used as a screening tool across a broad array of age-related diseases including presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.


Traditional, tissue-based assessments of mitochondrial function are invasive, and the specific respirometric parameters associated with systemic bioenergetic decline are poorly defined. For these reasons, the clinical utility of mitochondrial respirometry has been limited.

Since the clinical assessment of mitochondrial function can be used for diagnostic and prognostic applications, as well as to test and develop pharmacological interventions aimed at improving mitochondrial function, a reliable, high throughput and non-invasive test has become a necessity.


Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a blood-based assay for measuring systemic bioenergetic capacity and mitochondrial function.

Simultaneous respirometric analysis of multiple blood cell types can provide up to 42 individual parameters that make up an individual’s bioenergetic profile.

The resulting profile reports on an individual’s bioenergetic capacity, providing a comprehensive, objective index of systemic mitochondrial health. This information can be used to assess health risks, support early diagnosis of diseases and inform on the prognosis of patients and their physiological ability to benefit from intervention. This informs clinical decisions regarding patient prognosis and recovery from specific interventions or care plans.

Competitive Benefits

  • A minimally invasive, blood-based assay to measure mitochondrial function improves clinical and research utility compared to tissue-based approaches
  • Blood-based bioenergetic profiling utilizes a pattern recognition approach across multiple blood cell types instead of relying on a single readout
  • An accurate measure of mitochondrial function, the bioenergetic profile is a risk-assessment tool that can predict patient prognosis and recovery, as well as the safety of specific therapies and interventions
  • Inexpensive, rapid, high throughput test suitable for screening applications

Application Fields

  • A standard geriatric assessment tool to guide health care decision making
  • An assay for clinical blood-based bioenergetic profiling

Stage of Development

Proof of concept established for humans. Ongoing clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac rehabilitation.


Anthony Molina, PhD
Jeff Williamson, MD
Stephen Kritchevsky, PhD
Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine


U.S. Patent: WO2015157345A2

Licensing Contact

Peter Golikov, MS, MBA, CLP
Director of Licensing
Center for Technology Innovation & Commercialization

Reference #: 14-22

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