This week in techniques



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Assays & screens

Multiplexed, microfluidic protease activity assay for biomarker detection

A multiplexed, microfluidic assay that measures protease activity could be used to detect biomarkers. The device contains protease ligands and inhibitors in droplets on a chip that are mixed with picoliter volumes of biological fluids and analyzed using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based proteolytic activity matrix analysis (PrAMA). As proof of concept, the platform analyzed 20 mL samples of peritoneal fluid from patients with endometriosis and healthy controls and identified protease activity profiles that could discriminate between the two groups. Next steps include testing additional clinical samples and further optimizing the detection system.

SciBX 5(49); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1294
Published online Dec. 20, 2012

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Chen, C.-H. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc.; published online Nov. 18, 2012;
Contact: Jongyoon Han, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.