Ultrasensitive, Ion Channel-Based Sensors

Institution: University of California, San Diego

Detection and quantification at the level of single molecules is the ultimate goal of analytical assays. This sensitive, platform technology could transform diverse fields, from environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics to the fundamental studies of chemical and biochemical processes. The early potential of synthetic, ion channel-forming peptides was has not been realized; one factor of many has been the inability to translate the technology to low cost, large scale production of stable and portable devices. The absence of generalized modalities for sensing a broad range of analytes left few incentives to clear the hurdles.

UC San Diego researchers developed proprietary compositions of matter and methods for synthesizing exquisitely sensitive, ion channel-based nanosensors. Two different synthetic building blocks give ready access to a wide range of ion channel-based sensors that respond to specific and tailored external stimuli. These novel ion channels are extremely stable and the approach has been validated by the detection of selected chemical transformations, protein-ligand interactions, and enzymatic reactions. The nanoscale characteristics of these probes enable the development of highly sensitive assays in a low cost, portable format and the ability to design miniaturized devices may also enable the development of parallel assays in a high density platform.

Ion channel-forming peptides are particularly attractive as a practical, molecular platform for development of nanoprobes. Advantages include their:

  • Ability to sense a wide variety of external factors, including t

    Diagnostic;Therapeutic;Devices;Nanotechnology;Drug Discovery;Medical;Biotechnology

    Contact Information
    University of California, San Diego Technology Transfer Office

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