Saturday, November 28, 2009

Battelle Reveals New Concept for Colloidal Immobilized Proteinated Nanoparticle Inks and Coatings

Battelle Memorial Institute (Richland, WA) scientist Chenghong Lei created protein inks made up of proteinated or enzymatic nanoparticles dispersed in liquid solution as a colloid that can be printed or coated upon a variety of types of substrates to create a variety of types of products. Examples include, protein microarrays, biochips, biosensors and biochemical reactors. In one application, these immobilized protein inks form three-dimensional bioactive coatings that demonstrate increased stability and sensitivity as compared to other types of protein immobilizing strategies.

Protein microarrays have been used for a variety of screening procedures and the qualitative and quantitative analysis of a variety of substances, analytes, metabolites, and biomarkers. A variety of different substrates such as glass slides have been used to make these protein microarrays because of their ease of use, relatively high durability, optical properties, and the ability allowing devices such as robotic spotters to generate high-density arrays. However, these conventional protein microarrays typically require complicated attachment chemistry and/or allow only one monolayer of proteins to attach on the substrate surface. This results in a decreased density of the proteins (herein also include enzymes, antibodies, or their complexes) that can be attached to the substrate surface, and correspondingly a decreased sensitivity of the protein microarray themselves.

In addition, not all proteins remain functional in these conventional microarray formats due to the harsh attachment conditions. Because of only allowing small amount of active protein available, the conventional monolayer attachment chemistry often results a large data variation even from small variations of the experimental conditions such as surface inhomogeneity. Therefore, the reproducibilities, stabilities and sensitivities of the conventional protein microarrays are limited. What is needed therefore is an array and a method of making an array that overcomes these limitations and provides increased protein functionality, stability and sensitivity. The colloidal proteinated or enzymatic nanoparticles meets these needs, according to U.S. Patent Application 20090291214.

Lei’s invention is a new concept of immobilized proteins dispersed in liquid solution as a colloid, referred to as protein inks. The protein inks are comprised of proteinated nanoparticles and thus printable or coatable upon a variety of types of substrates. Potential uses for such inks include, protein microarrays, biochips, biosensors and biochemical reactors. In one application, these immobilized protein inks can be utilized to form a three-dimensional bioactive coating made up of a deposition of an immobilized protein ink with at least one protein immobilized between nanoscaled particles. These immobilized proteins are dispersed in a colloidal aqueous solution of nanomaterials where the protein molecules would be incorporated, intercalated, entrapped or encapsulated with the nanomaterials.

The colloidally immobilized proteins, or protein inks, can be directly applied by a method such as printing onto substrates such as glass slides in a high-density organization for making highly sensitive and high throughput protein microarrays in a rapid and reproducible manner. The protein availability in these protein ink-formed three-dimensional films or membranes on the substrate is much higher than that of a single monolayer protein on the substrate using conventional monolayer attachment technology. The reproducibility, stability, and sensitivity of Battelle’s protein microarray are significantly greater than those that use conventional technology.

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