Navigation Links
New Microchip for Protein Sorting

A new MIT project, reported in the latest Nature Nanotechnology, aims to make Western blotting an old-fashioned technique. //

The microchip system has an extremely tiny sieve structure built into it that can sort through continuous streams of biological fluids and separate proteins accurately by size. Conventional separation methods employ gels, which are slower and more labor-intensive to process. The new microchip system could sort proteins in minutes, as compared to the hours necessary for gel-based systems.

The new technology is an advance from a one-dimensional sieve structure reported by the same MIT group last year. The key to this new advance, called an anisotropic nanofluidic sieving structure, is that the researchers have designed the anisotropic sieve in two orthogonal dimensions (at a right angle), which enables rapid continuous-flow separation of the biological sample. This allows continuous isolation and harvesting of subsets of biomolecules that researchers want to study. And that increases the probability of detecting even the smallest number of molecules in the sample.

"With this technology we can isolate interesting proteins faster and more efficiently. And because it can process such small biologically relevant entities, it has the potential to be used as a generic molecular sieving structure for a more complex, integrated biomolecule preparation and analysis system," said Jongyoon Han, the Karl Van Tassel Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and associate professor of biological engineering at MIT and head of the MIT team.

Han noted that until the late 1990s, most advances in biological laboratory equipment were aimed at the Human Genome Project and discoveries related to DNA, which are larger molecules compared to proteins. However, because of the vital role proteins play in almost all biological processes, researchers began to focus their attention on proteins. But one obstacle has been the lack o f good laboratory tools with which to prepare biological samples to analyze proteins, said Han, who also has affiliations in MIT's RLE, Computational and Systems Biology Initiative, Center for Materials Science and Engineering and Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

"I shifted my attention from DNA into the area of protein separation around 2002 with the shift to proteomics (the study of proteins)," Han said. "But the field was using decades-old gel electrophoresis technology. There is a big gap in the need for technology in this area."

Han and Fu therefore devised the anisotropic sieve that is embedded into a silicon chip. A biological sample containing different proteins is placed in a sample reservoir above the chip. The sample is then run through the sieve of the chip continuously. The chip is designed with a network of microfluidic channels surrounding the sieve, and the anisotropy (directional property) in the sieve causes proteins of different sizes to follow distinct migration trajectories, leading to efficient continuous-flow separation. The current sieve has an array of nanofluidic filters of about 55 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, wide.

"The proteins to be sorted are forced to take two orthogonal paths. Each path is engineered with different sieving characters. When proteins of different sizes are injected into the sieve under applied electric fields, they will separate into different streams based on size," Han explained. At the bottom of the chip the separated proteins are collected in individual chambers. Scientists then can test the proteins.

While other scientists have used similar continuous flow techniques to separate large molecules like long DNA, the MIT team succeeded with the tinier proteins. "This is the first time physiologically relevant molecules like proteins have been separated in such a manner," said Han. "We can separate the molecules in about a minute with the current device versus hours for gels."

Another advantage of the microchip is that it can have so many different pore sizes, and unlike gels, it is possible to design an exact pore size to increase the separation accuracy. That in turn can help researchers look for so-called biomarkers, or proteins that can reveal that disease is present, and thus help researchers develop diagnostics and treatments for the disease. "Sample preparation is critical in detecting more biomarker signals," said Han

Source-Bio-Bio Technology

Related medicine news :

1. Microchip gives blind a chance of sight
2. Microchip gives blind a chance of sight
3. Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs
4. Evidence Links Protein Damage to Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers
5. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of ‘Huntingtons’ Disase
6. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of Huntingtins’ Disese
7. Protein in urine foresees heart disease
8. Levels Of Blood Proteins May Help Heart Disease Care
9. Protein signals need for heart surgery
10. Protein and fat improve memory
11. Clotting Protein plays a role in nerve repair
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/26/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and ... to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two ... currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department ... in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at ... Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: