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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Super Screening

To fully understand the details of a biological mechanism at the molecular level, it is important to characterise the biomolecular interaction in a relevant environment without modifying the samples or applying purification procedures.

Enabling this is the advent of a robust and easy-to-use fluidic system, and the injection of complex samples without dilution – such as serum, plasma, cell supernatants or even lysates – is no longer an issue for diagnostic research or drug screening. Moreover, crude samples can also be immobilised on the sensor chip for a rapid and high-throughput quantification that can be utilised in pharmaceutical R&D. The immobilised biological molecules may be quantified in different crude supernatants with only a single injection of the target.

The following discussion examines a biomarker – which we will call ‘Protein Y’ (PY) – which is a component of the HIV structure. This protein is commonly employed as an AIDS diagnosis tool in combination with other immunological tests. Until recently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been the standard method for PYbased diagnoses. Nevertheless, this method shows some limitations in terms of rapidity and high-throughput, which are increasingly required in pharma R&D. Now, however, there is a good alternative to the use of ELISA in determining the protein concentration. Unlike ELISA – which needs labelling and is time-consuming – surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) is label-free and takes only a few minutes to screen a huge panel of samples.

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Fatima-Ezzahra Hibti joined Genoptic – which later became HORIBA Scientific – as Application Engineer in 2009 after graduating from the Université de Reims Champagne- Ardenne, France, with a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and Therapeutic Strategies. For more than seven years, she was involved in various national and European projects and is now in charge of customer feasibility experiments. Fatima-Ezzahra is currently working with the life sciences team to develop the SPRi platform, as well as new applications for it in collaboration with the SPRi team and external partners.

Dr Chiraz Frydman is the Product Manager of Life Science Instruments at HORIBA Scientific. In 1996, she received her engineering diploma in Biology and an MSc in Applied Chemistry and Industrial Process Engineering the following year. After completing her PhD in Enzymatic Engineering, Bioconversion and Microbiology, Chiraz set up her own company dedicated to developing immune-affinity kits. Following this, she worked as a Biophotonic Project Manager at Opticsvalley.

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Fatima-Ezzahra Hibti
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Dr Chiraz Frydman
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