Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Microchip Technology Performs 1,000 Chemical Reactions at Once

05.08.2009
UCLA researchers have developed technology to perform more than a thousand chemical reactions at once on a stamp-size, PC-controlled microchip, which could accelerate the identification of potential drug candidates for treating diseases like cancer.

Technique may accelerate drug discovery for cancer, other diseases

Flasks, beakers and hot plates may soon be a thing of the past in chemistry labs. Instead of handling a few experiments on a bench top, scientists may simply pop a microchip into a computer and instantly run thousands of chemical reactions, with results — literally shrinking the lab down to the size of a thumbnail.

Toward that end, UCLA researchers have developed technology to perform more than a thousand chemical reactions at once on a stamp-size, PC-controlled microchip, which could accelerate the identification of potential drug candidates for treating diseases like cancer.

Their study appears in the Aug. 21 edition of the journal Lab on a Chip and is currently available online.

A team of UCLA chemists, biologists and engineers collaborated on the technology, which is based on microfluidics — the utilization of miniaturized devices to automatically handle and channel tiny amounts of liquids and chemicals invisible to the eye. The chemical reactions were performed using in situ click chemistry, a technique often used to identify potential drug molecules that bind tightly to protein enzymes to either activate or inhibit an effect in a cell, and were analyzed using mass spectrometry.

While traditionally only a few chemical reactions could be produced on a chip, the research team pioneered a way to instigate multiple reactions, thus offering a new method to quickly screen which drug molecules may work most effectively with a targeted protein enzyme. In this study, scientists produced a chip capable of conducting 1,024 reactions simultaneously, which, in a test system, ably identified potent inhibitors to the enzyme bovine carbonic anhydrase.

A thousand cycles of complex processes, including controlled sampling and mixing of a library of reagents and sequential microchannel rinsing, all took place on the microchip device and were completed in just a few hours. At the moment, the UCLA team is restricted to analyzing the reaction results off-line, but in the future, they intend to automate this aspect of the work as well.

"The precious enzyme molecules required for a single in situ click reaction in a traditional lab now can be split into hundreds of duplicates for performing hundreds of reactions in parallel, thus revolutionizing the laboratory process, reducing reagent consumption and accelerating the process for identifying potential drug candidates," said study author Hsian-Rong Tseng, a researcher at UCLA's Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, an associate professor molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

Kym F. Faull, director of the Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Lab at UCLA, helped the team with several challenges, including reducing the amount of chemicals needed for reactions on the chip, enhancing test sensitivity and speeding up reaction analysis.

"The system allows researchers to not only test compounds quicker but uses only tiny amounts of materials, which greatly reduces lab time and costs," said Faull, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Geffen School of Medicine.

Next steps for the team include exploring the use of this microchip technology for other screening reactions in which chemicals and material samples are in limited supply — for example, with a class of protein enzymes called kinases, which play critical roles in the malignant transformation of cancer.

According to the researchers, the technology may open up many areas for biological and medicinal study.

The study team relied on work in the UCLA labs of Michael E. Phelps, Norton Simon Professor and chair of molecular and medical pharmacology, and Clifton K.F. Shen, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology. Key research contributors included Yanju Wang, Wei-Yu Lin and Kan Liu, who work in Tseng's lab and intend to continue this line of research in independent careers after completing their training with Tseng.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.

Other authors include: Rachel J. Lin of UCLA's Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging; Matthias Selke of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at California State University, Los Angeles; Hartmuth C. Kolb of Siemens Medical Solutions; Nangang Zhang of UCLA's Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging and the department of physics and Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at China's Wuhan University; and Xing-Zhong Zhao of the department of physics and Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at China's Wuhan University.

For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom or follow us on Twitter.

Rachel Champeau | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ucla.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>