Smart Material Technology for Bioseparations and Diagnostics
Introduction Molecular recognition is important in wide variety of applications including affinity separations, biosensors, bioseparations, cell culture, diagnostics, targeted drug delivery, and enzyme and cell bioprocesses. The exceptionally specific interaction between a receptor and a ligand, such as the antibody-antigen binding reaction or enzyme-substrate binding site, is the central event in molecular recognition. Control over this binding step will lead to improvement in existing technologies and create entirely new applications in medicine, biotechnology, and industrial processing. Technology description Scientists at the University of Washington have invented new methods that employ environmentally-sensitive or “smart” polymers to control, like a switch, the molecular interactions of biomolecules. These methods utilize interactive molecules bound to a specific site. This allows for very quick and precise manipulations of the stimulus-responsive component, which is at a site adjacent to the bound smart polymer. This method avoids the use of harsh environmental conditions, or eluents, which could damage the target molecules. Business opportunity Purposes of this technology range from drug delivery to biological separations. Stage of development The smart materials have been developed for a wide variety of applications.
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