|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9,671,368||06/06/2017||2011-169|
Knowledge of a biological system’s proteome, the set and level of proteins it produces, is essential for understanding its physiological properties and for medical diagnosis of many diseases. Current methods used to identify proteins and measure their quantity involve physical separation of the proteins present in a sample, based on a single characteristic property such as their size or charge. These one-dimensional techniques have several limitations, for example protein size separation techniques do not distinguish different isoforms of the same protein, which can have very different structures and functions despite being the same size.
Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a novel two-dimensional protein separation technique, which separates proteins in a 2D-microfluidic platform by both their size and their charge. Using two separation modes in this way enables protein identification with a higher specificity and better spatial separation resolution compared to one-dimensional techniques. In addition, the microfluidic platform can be optimized for a given sample by fine-tuning the separation parameters and reagents. The platform is compatible with many different read-out modalities, including mass-spectrometry or introduction of labeling reagents such as antibodies or fluorophores. The advantages provided by two-dimensional protein separation in this way will innovate proteomic research and medical diagnostics.
Proteomics, Protein separation, Microfluidics, Electrophoresis