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Immunology Center will continue to drive standard methods, better science
Date:12/11/2008

scence detectors now commonplace in larger research institutions. Increasing the number of lasers and detectors enables more precise identification of target cell populations by their characteristics. Four years ago, the RHIC had eight-color flow cytometry, but has since upgraded to 11- and 18-color cytometers with support from the Medical Center and its Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Researchers receive training on flow cytometry and other key discovery techniques and gain access to a growing suite of RHIC equipment. With the renewal of the NIAID grant, the center will continue to develop and standardize immunological methods.

Beyond general leadership and standard setting, the center will take the lead in the next five years in helping the field to make better use of three cutting-edge technologies "of immense importance." The goal is to advance technologies to maturity so that they can be applied widely, with the new standards communicated through publications, the RHIC Web site and symposia.

The first technology is arrayed image reflectometry, which promises to be very useful in large-scale analysis of immune responses against multiple disease-causing proteins like those encountered during influenza outbreaks. Immune system proteins can be coated with a thin film that prevents light from reflecting off of them, but that become more reflective as the proteins bind to disease-related proteins. When several proteins to be tested are attached to a biochip, a great many proteins can be analyzed for little cost.

The grant renewal will also bring together RHIC experts in cytometry and in a second new technology: quantum dot nanostructures. These microscopic machines have optical qualities that can be harnessed to measure cellular qualities via flow cytometry with more precision than fluorescent dyes. Like dyes, the dots can be designed to inhabit certain regions of the cell, or cling to certain proteins, so that their
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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