Biological chemists have engineered modified proteins with a special tag, which makes the protein attach to a surface in a highly specified way and ensures it remains functional.
The attachment occurs in a single step in just a few hours unlike with existing techniques and requires no prior chemical modification of the protein of interest or additional chemical steps.
Prof Jason Micklefield from the School of Chemistry, said: "DNA chips have revolutionised biological and medical science. For many years scientists have tried to develop similar protein chips but technical difficulties associated with attaching large numbers of proteins to surfaces have prevented their widespread application.
"The method we have developed could have profound applications in the diagnosis of disease, screening of new drugs and in the detection of bacteria, pollutants, toxins and other molecules."
Researchers from The University of Manchester are currently working as part of a consortium of several universities on a 3.1 million project which is aiming to develop so-called 'nanoarrays'.
These would be much smaller than existing 'micro arrays' and would allow thousands more protein samples to be placed on a single 'chip', reducing cost and vastly increasing the volume of data that could be simultaneously collected.
|Contact: Alex Waddington|
University of Manchester