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Sandia researchers take new approach to studying how cells respond to pathogens

th multivariate curve resolution (MCR) is used to image the tagged proteins and provide quantitative measurements on multiple proteins simultaneously. The goal is to analyze as many as 10 to 40 proteins and cellular stains at a time in three dimensions.

The end results of the imaging and protein analysis are large amounts of data that must be categorized and understood. Computational modeling is then used to develop network models from experimental data and predictive modeling generates hypotheses to be tested next.

Singh says using an integrated microfluidic platform sets Sandia apart from the rest of the world. Sandia researchers have been working in the area of microfluidics -- the science of designing, manufacturing, and formulating devices and processes that deal with volumes of fluid on the order of nanoliters -- since the 1990s and have a good understanding about how to use microfluids to analyze cell activity. The microfluidic platform is fast and highly parallel and can perform hundreds of measurements 50 to 100 times faster than alternate methods.

Singh says the end goal is to make a benchtop miniaturized system expected in about two years. It would be placed in Biosafety Level 3 or 4 labs to study immune response to highly pathogenic organisms. He notes the integrated platform, biological reagents and computational models developed under this project have applicability beyond infectious disease research. These technologies can also be used for studying cellular signaling involved in diseases such as cancer or by pharmaceutical companies for biomarker discovery.


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Source:DOE/Sandia National Laboratories


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