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Biotechnology: Method and Apparatus for Profiling Protein

About Biotechnology: Method and Apparatus for Profiling Protein

Molecular biology has been moving towards development of high throughput, small-scale platforms for various applications from medical research to molecular diagnostics. Advanced technologies, although mostly precise and sensitive, are expensive, time-consuming and require laboratory equipment and technical expertise. In addition, these tools are designed to target certain types of biomaterials (genomics and proteomics), or even more specific target samples (specific protein arrays). Hence, there is lack of a universal tool capable of identification of living organisms through detection of biomolecules (DNA, RNA, Proteins) or characterization of cells in a rapid, cost-effective and user-friendly manner. The novelty of the proposed technology however originates from the individually specific electronic nature of the biomaterial of interest. Looking at biomaterials and living organisms from an electronic point of view is a very interesting research subject which has never been put into practice commercially. The electronic method developed involves direct measurements of electronic fingerprinting signals from the respective biological (or non-biological) materials. Using the idea of semiconductivity (for the first time) and other characteristic electronic properties, my research group has developed a novel first of its class of patented solid-state sensors which can detect electronic signals arising from nucleic acids and cells and convert them into quantitative solid-state parameters. Integrated within a fully electronic Lab-on-PCB system now named eProfiler-L and operated via a Cloud-based platform, these signals can then be analyzed to help characterize and identify unknown samples. The technology relies on the electronic properties and charge transfer capabilities of chemical structures in solution, thin film or monolayer forms. Based on how the sample reacts or ‘behaves’ when exposed to an electric field, a characteristic eProfile is created. This behavior is attributed to the interactions at the sample/electrode interface without the need for any reagents (enzymes, antibodies, dyes, etc.). Therefore, the fingerprint eProfiles can also be scrutinized to yield surprisingly novel insights into understanding various elusive cellular and biological pathways. The recently developed eProfiler-L MVP platform based on the patent highlighted in this application and others will be instrumental towards establishing the first digital identification database of pathogens and biomolecules for efficient digital diagnosis (eDiagnostics) and connected healthcare in the near future.

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