Liquid crystal based enzyme activity assay
Small Business Information
PLATYPUS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, 505 S ROSA RD, STE 150, MADISON, WI, 53719
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term goal of this Phase 1 SBIR is to develop optimized components (nanostructured substrates) and methods for use in the creation of a novel class of rapid, liquid crystal based assays capable of reporting enzyme activity. This proposal focuses on the activity of matrix metalloproteinases because of their central importance to cancer biology. There is a need for new technologies that are more cost effective, less labor intensive, consume less reagents, can be performed in less time, can distinguish between the total amount of MMP present and its activated fraction, and are amenable to high throughput formats. Platypus TM technology can be the foundation for such assays to accelerate basic research, drug discovery, evaluation of anti-cancer drugs and development of prognostic indicators. The combination of nanostructured substrates with liquid crystals requires no secondary labels or additional reagents to report enzyme activity. It will provide a unified platform for many diverse assays relevant to cancer biology. In this proposal, we will fabricate substrates with nanoscale topography by two methods: oblique deposition of thin films of gold and by rubbing of covalently immobilized enzyme substrates that introduce nanoscale order into the surface of the protein film. We will comparatively evaluate the ability of these substrates to: align liquid crystals; determine their tolerance to the presence of non-specific adsorption of proteins in cell media and to allow rapid quantification of matrix metalloproteinase activity. Additionally, we will explore strategies that allow specific identification of MMP-9 and its activated fraction. At the completion of these studies, we will have optimized the core component of a new technology for rapid, cost effective and accurate quantification of enzyme activity.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.