Phoenix S&T, Inc. has announces it has been awarded a NIH Phase 2 SBIR grant to further develop a multidimensional microfluidic chromatographic device that uses nanoparticles as the separation medium for ultrahigh resolution and ultrahigh speed separations of complex proteins. The device will be interfaced with nanospray mass spectrometry for protein detection and identification.
This grant, potentially totaling $1.2 million over three years, aims to produce a commercializable prototype device for separating and identifying glycoproteins, which are broadly important in controlling signal and cell-cell recognition.
Glycoproteins also serve as biomarkers for diseases, including many cancers. Glycosylation imparts only a slight change in molecular weight, and the increased adhesiveness of the protein gives additional zone broadening.
Proteins can be multiply-glycosylated, and differing levels of glycosylation typically give rise to broad smears in the 2D gels, rendering this incumbent technique extremely ineffective.
"Our core mission is to create products based on our proprietary three-dimensional micromolded devices to dramatically improve and streamline laboratory analytical functions especially for proteins. To date we have commercialized a molded plastic nozzle that delivers robust nanospray for even complex biomaterials for mass spectrometry. This funding will greatly extend our product offering in the next few years,” says Sau Lan Staats, President of Phoenix S&T.
He continued, “We hope to make separations of complex post-translationally modified proteins routine and high throughput. This in turn will increase efficiency dramatically in a myriad of applications in proteomics. We are collaborating with experts at the University of Arizona, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and MIT."