Collaboration aims to commercialise a new generation of membrane-mimetic biosensor surfaces which can be used to analyse the structure and function of membrane-associating peptides and proteins
Farfield Scientific and the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at Monash University have entered a strategic partnership to create a series of biosensor surfaces that will be used to establish a new approach to the structural analysis of membrane protein function.
The partnership has recently attracted Australian Research Council funding at Monash.
Associate professor Marie-Isabel Aguilar, leading the project at Monash, stated: "We propose to develop a new range of sensor chips with specifically designed and characterised phospholipid surfaces using patented Monash technology.
"We will analyse the structure of the different membrane surfaces using high-resolution and information-rich measurements from our Farfield AnaLight Bio200 dual polarisation interferometry instrument.
"We will then apply these sensor chips to the analysis of a range of peptide and protein membrane processes.
"The outcome will be a new-generation of biosensors that will provide unprecedented structural information that will underpin new developments in drug discovery and design.
"In particular, this technology may lead to the identification of new proteins and drug targets for therapeutic development.
"The long-term outcome would be the development of improved therapeutics which would be coupled to potential economic returns when further commercialisation is achieved".
Gerry Ronan, CEO at Farfield Scientific, added "Dr Aguilar's research into membrane proteins is internationally renowned and we are delighted that she has chosen to undertake this work with her AnaLight facility.
"Membrane proteins are the subject of intense academic and commercial interest as they are the gateways to the cell but they are notoriously difficult to study.
"This collaboration will deliver a bioanalytical toolkit which will transform the life scientist's ability to unravel the mechanisms by which these proteins function and will ultimately lead to an entirely new approach to structurally informed drug discovery".