Proteomics Chips

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University scientists are developing an instrument that can fabricate custom-made biochips for protein analysis, offering a potentially powerful new tool for drug development and basic medical research.

The instrument makes use of a new method to remove and isolate the tangle of proteins found within cells, a process necessary to reveal protein function within an organism. In contrast to other, more labor-intensive separation methods, the Purdue team's technique allows proteins with similar chemical properties to be separated in the gas phase based on their mass so that analysis can be accomplished in far fewer steps than previously required.

'This technique, when fully developed, will allow us to take hundreds of proteins from a cell without damaging them,' said R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue's School of Science. 'We can then deposit these proteins in specific locations on a chip, where their functions can be analyzed quickly. We hope this chip-making instrument will streamline proteomics research.'