john simpson

New technique allows multitesting in search for new drugs

Blog Post created by john simpson on Nov 10, 2010

Science Daily
"Nanopore Array Allows Simultaneous Tests in Search  for New Drugs"


Membrane-associated receptors, channels and  transporters are among the most important drug targets for the pharmaceutical  industry. The search for new drugs resembles looking for a needle in a haystack.  Therefore new analytical techniques are required which facilitate the  simultaneous screening of a large library of compounds across a variety of  membrane proteins. However, this class of methods is still at the early stages  of development. The group of Prof. Dr. Robert Tampé, in collaboration with the  Walter Schottky Institute at Technical University Munich, has now presented a  novel, automatable lab-on-chip device for high-throughput screening of sensitive  membrane proteins. The work is detailed in the journal Nano  Letters, where the scientists describe the analysis of membrane  proteins on a nano-fabricated chip surface that contains almost 50,000  nanopores. These pores are covered by a freely suspended lipid membrane that  incorporates the proteins to be analyzed. Because the lipid membrane is free of  organic solvents and the proteins do not touch the solid support, the fragile  structure (and therefore function) of the proteins is preserved.