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 Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>