Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Proteomics on a chip

18.06.2002


‘Golden approach’ human proteine classification
Proteomics on a chip


Knowledge of the human proteome may provide us with even more insight than knowledge of DNA. This ‘protein blueprint’ of a human contains valuable information about cell properties and disease causes. A single cell, however, already consists of several thousands of proteines. To be able to classify them, dr. Richard Schasfoort of the University of Twente is developing a special chip, able to make hundreds or thousands proteine analyses at the same time. For his ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ ideas, he got the Dutch Innovation impulse last year. Important steps have been made already, in the development of a chip for patient monitoring of prostate cancer, using the same proteine analysis technique. In his new Biochip research group at UT, starting July 1st, Schasfoort is extending this concept towards use in proteomics.


The blueprint of an organism can be found in the proteome, the total ‘package’ of proteins being expressed within this organism. Not all proteins are in a direct way linked to DNA, they interact themselves. Finding the protein pattern – each cell has about 10000 proteins, of which several thousands are unknown - is a new race, providing more information than the DNA-map. The Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) faces the challenge of identifying over 300.000 proteines.

Gold

There are techniques for this, Schasfoort admits. But for these amounts of data, they are very time-consuming: they are in fact based on visual recognition of proteines and selecting the interesting ones with a kind of chemical ‘pair of tweezers’. Schasfoort is convinced of the need for a new approach: he proposes a combination of ‘microfluidics’ and a detection technique called Surface Plasmon Resonance imaging (SPR). In this way, he wants to build a complete lab on a chip, for imaging of hundreds or thousands of proteines at the same time. On the chip, a separation technique splits the proteome in individual proteins. They ‘land’ on tiny gold surfaces, specially prepared for capturing the proteines: one proteine on every gold. Caused by the interaction, a change in refractive index is induced: in this way optical detection is possible. A laser scans all the golden rectangles with proteines on them, and a camera makes an image of the proteine pattern.

Schasfoort’s new Biochip group is part of the chair of Biophysical Techniques, faculty of Applied Physics, University of Twente. In this group, Schasfoort wants to develop a complete integrated system. For this idea, NWO the Dutch organisation for scientific research, granted him with the ‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’, about 700 thousand euro for a period of five years. Schasfoort doesn’t start ‘from scratch’: he already developed the basic components, for a prostate cancer monitoring system using the same technique SPR. This is done in a EU-project to be finished in approx half a year. In the project, directed by IMEC in Belgium, detection of the cancer-specific proteine in blood is possible, in quantities of less than a tenth of a nanogram per millilitre. All handling and separation of fluids is done on the same chip. The laser and the camera can be made very small as well.

Dr. Richard Schasfoort (43), chemical engineer, developed large-scale industrial SPR systems before, in a company called Ibis Technologies. After getting acquainted with microfluidics in the group of Albert van den Berg (MESA+), he decided to combine best of both worlds. The power of the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ concept was already seen in the human genome project, when analysis chips became commercially available. Schasfoort starts with a group of six scientists and technicians.

Wiebe van der Veen | alfa

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>