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sector_ico_Health_trans Human 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: Closed

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. Analyzing molecules in this manner does not require additional labels that can be costly and may change their structure or function. Moreover, these tools do not need larger samples to function and are capable of isolating single molecules from complex mixtures. 

Dr. Reuven Gordon and the team have developed a patented approach that uses a very small optical 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 Genome BC’s Pilot Innovation Fund, the team has developed a simpler version of the technology. They have engaged academic collaborators to gain and incorporate valuable feedback from end-users. This project has advanced the development of this novel product, potentially leading to a commercialization opportunity for Dr. Gordon. By making a more user-friendly product, this technology can support a broader range of end users, from researchers studying basic protein functions to industry scientists developing new therapeutics in cancer.