APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Targeted drug development
- Clinical diagnostics
- Works with any standard lab spectrometer
- Self-assembling surface
- High sensitivity and low background noise
- Real time monitoring of multiplexed or parallelized experiments
- Low cost, easily scalable manufacturing
Berkeley Lab researchers Hung-Jen Wu and John T. Groves have developed a plasmonic nanocube sensor – a low cost, label free optical detection tool that monitors molecular binding by localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in real time.
The plasmonic nanocube sensor is the only label free assay to successfully mimic the cell membrane environment and allow for simple readout in a standard UV-visible spectrometer; no specialized instrumentation is required. The technology is ideal for studying multiple biomolecular interactions in real time for the development of targeted therapies and clinical diagnostics. The optical sensors – 100 nm silver nanocubes covered with a 3.9 nm-thick silica layer – measure shifts in resonance as molecules that bind or unbind to the lipid surface change the nanocube’s effective refractive index. The unique shape of the nanocube sensor focuses the range of detection to molecules at its surface instead of from the surrounding solution. The technology’s self-assembling surface will make it possible to manufacture plasmonic nanocube sensors on a large scale at an affordable price.
Label free techniques such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors are commonly used by the pharmaceutical industry, but conventional SPR requires specialized instruments and lacks compatibility with lipid surfaces, a requirement for studies on membrane systems. Other label free techniques to study biomolecules binding to lipid bilayers, including acoustic biosensors and nanowires, require additional time and substantial expense in modifying the sensor surface or using complicated equipment to perform the measurement. Only the Berkeley Lab technology offers a ready-to-use multiplexed sensor that characterizes protein binding kinetics and the specificity of biomolecular interactions without the added complexity and cost of fluorescent labels and specialized equipment.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wu. H.-J., Henzie, J., Lin, W.-C., Rhodes, C., Li, Z., Sartorel, E., Thorner, J., Yang, P., Groves, J.T. “Membrane-protein binding measured with solution-phase plasmonic nanosube sensors,” Nature Methods, 2012, 9, 1189-1191.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: JIB-3080