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sector_ico_Health_trans Health

Fiber–based approach to scalable single–protein analysis

  • Project Leaders: Reuven Gordon
  • Institutions: University of Victoria (UVic)
  • Budget: $248623
  • Program/Competition: Pilot Innovation Fund
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2021
  • Status: Active

Biotechnology tools that can isolate single molecules such as proteins are an emerging innovation. These are highly sensitive tools that can help researchers in industry and academia study single molecules and how they may change in different environments in real time. Molecules do not need additional labels that can be costly and may change their structure or how they interact with other molecules. Moreover, these tools do not need larger samples to function and are capable of isolating single molecules from complex mixtures.

Dr Reuven Gordon and team have developed a patented approach that uses a very small laser tweezer to hold single proteins and monitor their structural changes and molecular interactions in real time. Their technique has been adopted by leading researchers worldwide to study proteins at high resolution. With the support from the Pilot Innovation Fund, the team will work together with academic and industry partners to develop a simpler version of their technology. This will help increase its appeal to newer audiences and help the team in scaling up production. By making a more user-friendly product, this technology can support a broader range of end user, from researchers studying basic protein functions to industry scientists developing new therapeutics in cancer.