Oakland University
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New sensors can detect tiny amounts of biological molecules

The development of new biosensors is crucial for detecting minute amounts of important biological molecules. In the January 15 issue of Analytical Chemistry, a team of researchers from Oakland University and Vanderbilt published new results about using a “Single Chain Fragment Variable Recombinant Antibody as a Template for Fc Sensors” (Volume 83, Pages 625-630). One of the two lead authors on this study was Zhihong Shen, a 2008 graduate of the Biomedical Sciences: Health and Environmental Chemistry PhD Program. Shen worked in the laboratory of Associate Professor and CBR member Xiangqun Zeng, of the Department of Chemistry.

The basic idea of the sensor is to use a quartz crystal microbalance to detect the slight increase in mass as a molecule attaches to the sensor surface, and antibodies--part of the body’s immune system--attached to the surface to provide specific binding. In fact, the entire large antibody protein is not necessary for this device; only the single chain variable fragment is sufficient to recognize a specific antigen. In their paper, the researchers describe a sensor that detects Fc receptors, which exist on many cells that play an important role in the immune system.
A research team led by Xiangqun Zeng of the Department of Chemistry is developing new sensors that can detect tiny amounts of important biological molecules.

Created by Brad Roth (roth@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Modified by Brad Roth (roth@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Article Start Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011