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Counting Immune Cells On A 'Protein Printboard'

Date:
May 21, 2008
Source:
University of Twente
Summary:
In order to monitor how far an HIV infection has progressed, the number of immune cells – lymphocytes – must be counted. Researchers have developed a method that neatly arranges the antibodies that bind to these immune cells on a ‘molecular printboard’.

In order to monitor how far an HIV infection has progressed, the number of immune cells – lymphocytes – must be counted. Researchers at the University of Twente have developed a method that neatly arranges the antibodies that bind to these immune cells on a ‘molecular printboard’.

The researchers are publishing this key step in the road towards antibody-based sensors in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers have succeeded in neatly lining up proteins on a surface. The process also allows patterns of various types of proteins to be created. The proteins do not bind to the surface directly but via so-called ‘linkers’; these are molecules that organize themselves and create structure. This technology has interesting medical applications, as it allows the creation of a surface with antibodies - proteins that allow antigens to be detected in blood.

The presence of antigens provides information about diseases or disease progression. Good detection relies entirely on highly specific binding. The odds of ‘incorrect’ bonds being formed is minimized by this new method.

Cell count

Cells can also be bound to such a ‘protein printboard’ by using the characteristic proteins found on the outside of a cell. This cell adhesion is important in processes like counting immune cells – lymphocytes – to monitor the progression of an HIV infection. Highly specific binding is required to ensure reliable results.

Thanks to the regular arrangement made possible by self-organization, researchers also achieve highly specific binding, minimizing the chances of errors. According to the researchers, this opens the door to low cost cell count systems.

The research was performed by the Molecular Nanofabrication (MESA+) and Biophysical Engineering (MESA+ and BMTI) groups. They cooperated with the Agrotechnology & Food Innovations group of the Wageningen University and Research Center.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Twente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Manon Ludden, Xiao Li, Jan Greve, Aart van Amerongen, Maryana Escalante, Vinod Subramaniam, David N. Reinhoudt en Jurriaan Huskens. Assembly of Bionanostructures onto β-Cyclodextrin Molecular Printboards for Antibody Recognition and Lymphocyte Cell Counting. Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

Cite This Page:

University of Twente. "Counting Immune Cells On A 'Protein Printboard'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520212615.htm>.
University of Twente. (2008, May 21). Counting Immune Cells On A 'Protein Printboard'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520212615.htm
University of Twente. "Counting Immune Cells On A 'Protein Printboard'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520212615.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

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