Navigation Links
Professor receives grant to develop more rapid technology for screening blood samples
Date:11/4/2009

AUSTIN, Texas - Dr. Jennifer Brodbelt, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has received a $734,068 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a new method for rapidly screening blood samples for biomarkers.

Biomarkers are small molecules that indicate the presence of a particular physiological condition, typically a disease. The new method, if successful, could prove useful not just for identifying markers of specific diseases such as cancer or heart disease, but for discovering broader metabolic patterns correlated with conditions such as aging or obesity.

"There are technologies right now that are very effective at separating and analyzing the different compounds in a blood sample, but they tend to be relatively slow," says Brodbelt, the principal investigator of the grant. "It makes it very hard to do analyses of lots of samples. What we're developing is a chip-based method, where entire classes of compounds are captured on the chips and then all the compounds are released and analyzed by mass spectrometry in just a few seconds."

Although the technology, if successful, should be useful in searching for biomarkers in all sorts of conditions, Brodbelt and her collaborators from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, Drs. Lynn and Frank Guziec, are focusing on patterns that correlate with aging.

"We're trying to develop maps that can correlate the progression of aging with metabolites that might be circulating in your blood," says Brodbelt. "These could be small molecules that increase in quantity as you age, or actually change in composition as one ages."

The new method, says Brodbelt, involves three basic stages.

The first stage is the coating of different regions of a mesh chip with a variety of "capture agents," which chemically bind to specific compounds in a blood sample. A burst from an ultraviolet light then severs the chemical bonds between the chip and the captured substances. Then an electrospray, which is similar to a solvent aerosol spray, shoots through the mesh chip and transfers the different compounds into the mass spectrometer for analysis.

By analyzing the mass spectrometric data, says Brodbelt, scientists should be able to measure the presence and quantity of different compounds, and to do so on a scale, and with a speed, that wasn't possible before.

"The payoff could be big," she says. "It's a different strategy than what might be pursued by molecular biologists or biochemists. They'll often focus on studying one or two proteins at a time, and develop a really deep understanding of those proteins. We're looking for the more generalized profile, and we may notice some patterns that weren't apparent to them.

"There are so many other areas where you'd want to do profiling. It might involve looking for pesticides as part of an environmental study, or doing protein-related work or drug profiling work. If this approach is successful, I imagine other groups will try to develop these chips as well."

Brodbelt's grant, which is being funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) government stimulus package, is a "Challenge Grant," meant to encourage high-risk, high-reward research projects that may produce results quickly.

This is the second NIH grant in two years that Brodbelt and the Guziecs have received. In 2008, the collaborating groups received a four-year, $1,113,615 grant to evaluate an innovative technique that could assess the anti-cancer activity of new compounds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Brodbelt
jbrodbelt@mail.utexas.edu
512-471-0028
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Expert on Emerging Infectious Zoonotic Diseases Joining K-State as a Regents Distinguished Professor
2. University of Iowa professor identifies new eating disorder
3. University of Nevada School of Medicine Professor Confirms Accuracy Through Validation Study Using the CSI Health Station Model 6K
4. George Mason University professor receives $2.6 million NIH grant to study Alzheimers disease
5. N.J. nurses are overworked according to Rutgers College of Nursing professor
6. Rutgers College of Nursing emerita professor Beverly Whipple receives FSSS book award
7. Boston University School of Medicine Professor receives award from American Heart Association
8. Louisiana Tech professor is Small Times Innovator of the Year
9. Protalix BioTherapeutics Appoints Professor Roger D. Kornberg to Board of Directors
10. Whale music captivates NJIT Professor David Rothenberg for new book, CD
11. Danny Calegari Appointed the Richard Merkin Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In ... benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued ... Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive ... self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: