Purification and Concentration of Proteins from Complex Samples Using Aptamers and the Interaction between Nucleic Acids and Silica

There is a need for an inexpensive, efficient, automated device for the preparation and analysis of samples that comprise both DNA and proteins. Generic methods for the purification of DNA from cells or mixtures of cells include alcohol precipitation, silicon binding, standard gel electrophoresis, and phenol extraction.

Most of these methods are time consuming and must currently be performed manually. Proteins, however, have no equivalent for specific detection and have very different structures from one type of protein to the next. Most protein purification methods have been developed to purify proteins based on physical parameters such as size, charge, isoelectric point, hydrophobicity, etc. with the final goal of isolating a single pure protein after many such steps are performed in parallel. APL scientists are developing a method and device that would permit samples to not be split during the sample preparation process (chain of custody), and where common purification methods can be used for both protein and DNA.

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