Researchers in Dr. Roger Howe’s lab have developed a method to control the orientation of proteins and other biomolecules during immobilization on a solid-state surface. Immobilization and attachment of proteins on solid surfaces has wide application in various types of optical, electronic and magnetic biosensing platforms. Both affinity-based sensing and probe-free sensing platforms can benefit from controlled and uniform immobilization of proteins on sensor surfaces. Typical methods of controlling the orientation of proteins on a sensor surface involve surface chemistry-based techniques. These can be difficult and tedious, especially for large scale multiplexing. To overcome this limitation and enhance the sensitivity of biosensing platforms, the inventors have developed a method of controlling the orientation of immobilized proteins on a solid-state surface using electric field.Stage of research
The inventors have performed proof-of-concept studies using fluorescence detection to verify the modulation of the orientation of proteins bound to a solid-state surface. The studies demonstrate that the use of electric field to control orientation of the immobilized proteins can result in up to 40X enhancement in signal-to-noise ratio compared to normal physical adsorption. Also, atomic force microscopy was used to verify the controlled orientation of molecules through direct imaging of the surface.Related technology
This method could be used in combination with the quantum electronic tunneling biosensor (see Stanford Docket S11-275
) for a variety of applications including development of chips to be used in drug discovery or virus detection.
This method could also be used in combination with multiplexed microfluidics immunoassays (see Stanford Docket S11-353