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Padrão, I, Fernandes CSM, Esteves C, Fernandes T, Pina AS, Roque ACA.  2020.  Versatile and Tunable Poly(Ethylene Glycol)‐Based Hydrogels Crosslinked through the Ugi Reaction. ChemPlusChem. 85(12):2737-2741.
Pádua, AC, Osório D, Rodrigues J, Santos G, Porteira A, Palma S, Roque A, Gamboa H.  2018.  Scalable and Easy-to-use System Architecture for Electronic Noses. In Proceedings of the 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies . :179-186., Madeira: BIODEVICES AbstractPDF

The purpose of this work was the development of a scalable and easy-to-use electronic noses (E-noses) system architecture for volatile organic compounds sensing, towards the final goal of using several E-noses acquiring large datasets at the same time. In order to accomplish this, each E-nose system is comprised by a delivery system, a detection system and a data acquisition and control system. In order to increase the scalability, the data is stored in a database common to all E-noses. Furthermore, the system was designed so it would only require five simple steps to setup a new E-nose if needed, since the only parameter that needs to be changed is the ID of the new E-nose. The user interacts with a node using an interface, allowing for the control and visualization of the experiment. At this stage, there are three different E-nose prototypes working with this architecture in a laboratory environment.

Padua, A, Gruber J, Gamboa H, Roque ACA.  2019.  Impact of Sensing Film’s Production Method on Classification Accuracy by Electronic Nose. Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: BIODEVICES. , Prague, Czech Republic AbstractPDF

The development of gas sensing materials is relevant in the field of non-invasive biodevices. In this work, we used an electronic nose (E-nose) developed by our research group, which possess versatile and unique sensing materials. These are gels that can be spread over the substrate by Film Coating or Spin Coating. This study aims to evaluate the influence of the sensing film spreading method selected on the classification capabilities of the E-nose. The methodology followed consisted of performing an experiment where the E-nose was exposed to 13 different pure volatile organic compounds. The sensor array had two sensing films produced by Film Coating, and other two produced by Spin Coating. After data collection, a set of features was extracted from the original signal curves, and the best were selected by Recursive Feature Elimination. Then, the classification performance of Multinomial Logistic regression, Decision Tree, and Naíve Bayes was evaluated. The results showed that both s preading methods for sensing film’s production are adequate since the estimated error of classification was inferior to 4 % for all the classification tools applied.

Pádua, AC, Palma S, Gruber J, Gamboa H, Roque ACA.  2018.  Design and Evolution of an Opto-electronic Device for VOCs Detection. Proceedings of the 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. :48-55. AbstractPDFWebsite

Electronic noses (E-noses) are devices capable of detecting and identifying Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in a simple and fast method. In this work, we present the development process of an opto-electronic device based on sensing films that have unique stimuli-responsive properties, altering their optical and electrical properties, when interacting with VOCs. This interaction results in optical and electrical signals that can be collected, and further processed and analysed. Two versions of the device were designed and assembled. E-nose V1 is an optical device, and E-nose V2 is a hybrid opto-electronic device. Both E-noses architectures include a delivery system, a detection chamber, and a transduction system. After the validation of the E-nose V1 prototype, the E-nose V2 was implemented, resulting in an easy-to-handle, miniaturized and stable device. Results from E-nose V2 indicated optical signals reproducibility, and the possibility of coupling the electrical signals to the opt ical response for VOCs sensing.

Palma, SI, Rodrigues CA, Carvalho A, Morales PM, Freitas F, Fernandes AR, Cabral JS, Roque ACA.  2015.  A value-added exopolysaccharide as a coating agent for MRI nanoprobes. Nanoscale. (7):14272-14283. AbstractWebsite

Fucopol, a fucose-containing exopolysaccharide (EPS) produced by the bacterium Enterobacter A47 DSM 23139 using glycerol as a carbon source, was employed as a new coating material for iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNP). The coated particles were assessed as nanoprobes for cell labeling by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The MNP were synthesized by a thermal decomposition method and transferred to aqueous medium by ligand-exchange reaction with meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). Covalent binding of EPS to DMSA-stabilized nanoparticles (MNP-DMSA) resulted in a hybrid magnetic-biopolymeric nanosystem (MNP-DMSA-EPS) with a hydrodynamic size of 170 nm, negative surface charge at physiological conditions and transverse to longitudinal relaxivities ratio, r2/r1, of 148. In vitro studies with two human cell lines (colorectal carcinoma - HCT116 - and neural stem/progenitor cells - ReNcell VM) showed that EPS promotes internalization of nanoparticles in both cell lines. In vitro MRI cell phantoms also showed superior performance of MNP-DMSA-EPS in ReNcell VM, for which iron dose-dependent MRI signal drop was obtained at relatively low iron concentrations (12 - 20 µg Fe/ml) and short incubation time. Furthermore, ReNcell VM multipotency was not affected by culture in the presence of MNP-DMSA or MNP-DMSA-EPS for 14 days. Our study suggests that Fucopol-coated MNP represent useful cell labeling nanoprobes for MRI.

Palma, SICJ, Roque ACA.  2017.  Hybrid Magnetic-Polymeric Iron Oxide Nanoprobes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Volume 17(Number 7):4410-4431(22). AbstractWebsite

In the last decades, the advent of nanotechnology has driven the study and application of nanoscale versions of magnetic materials. Among the various nanoparticles under research, iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNP), namely iron oxides magnetite (Fe3O4) and maghemite (γ-Fe2O3), have attracted particular interest due to their superparamagnetism, biocompatibility and biodegradability. MNP are thus ideal platforms to work on a cellular and molecular level in several biomedical applications. In particular, the use of MNP as contrast agents for biomedical imaging through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been explored extensively in the last 30 years, taking advantage of the versatility of MNP functionalization due to the available large surface-to-volume ratio. Polymers, either synthetic or natural, are the most common class of materials employed as coatings for MNP, allowing to customize nanoprobes properties such as size, shape, magnetic relaxation, as well as cell-nanoprobe interactions (for example, specificity towards tissue types, responsiveness to cellular environment features), therapeutic effects or combination with other imaging modalities. While most biopolymers have intrinsic biocompatibility and biodegradability properties and are greener products, synthetic polymers offer engineering versatility and possibility of being tailor-made with specific properties. This review covers the properties of nanoscale iron oxides, production and stabilization methods of such nanoparticles, and their biomedical applications, mainly focusing on the engineering of polymeric-MNP assemblies towards the development of new hybrid magnetic-polymeric MRI nanoprobes.

Palma, SI, Marciello M, Carvalho A, Veintemillas-Verdaguer S, Morales PM, Roque ACA.  2015.  Effects of phase transfer ligands on monodisperse iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles. Journal of Colloid & Interface Science. 437(1):147–155. AbstractWebsite

Oleic acid coated iron oxide nanoparticles synthesized by thermal decomposition in organic medium are highly monodisperse but at the same time are unsuitable for biological applications. Ligand-exchange reactions are useful to make their surface hydrophilic. However, these could alter some structural and magnetic properties of the modified particles. Here we present a comprehensive study and comparison of the effects of employing either citric acid (CA) or meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) ligand-exchange protocols for phase transfer of monodisperse hydrophobic iron oxide nanoparticles produced by thermal decomposition of Fe(acac)3 in benzyl ether. We show the excellent hydrodynamic size distribution and colloidal stability of the hydrophilic particles obtained by the two protocols and confirm that there is a certain degree of oxidation caused by the ligand-exchange. CA revealed to be more aggressive towards the iron oxide surface than DMSA and greatly reduced the saturation magnetization values and initial susceptibility of the resulting particles compared to the native ones. Besides being milder and more straightforward to perform, the DMSA ligand exchange protocol produces MNP chemically more versatile for further functionalization possibilities. This versatility is shown through the covalent linkage of gum Arabic onto MNP-DMSA using carboxyl and thiol based chemical routes and yielding particles with comparable properties.

Palma, SICJ, Carvalho A, Silva J, Martins P, Marciello M, Fernandes AR, del Puerto Morales M, Roque ACA.  2015.  Covalent coupling of gum arabic onto superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for MRI cell labeling: physicochemical and in vitro characterization. Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. 10:320–328., Number 4 AbstractWebsite

Gum arabic (GA) is a hydrophilic composite polysaccharide derived from exudates of Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal trees. It is biocompatible, possesses emulsifying and stabilizing properties and has been explored as coating agent of nanomaterials for biomedical applications, namely magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Previous studies focused on the adsorption of GA onto MNPs produced by co-precipitation methods. In this work, MNPs produced by a thermal decomposition method, known to produce uniform particles with better crystalline properties, were used for the covalent coupling of GA through its free amine groups, which increases the stability of the coating layer. The MNPs were produced by thermal decomposition of Fe(acac)3 in organic solvent and, after ligand-exchange with meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), GA coating was achieved by the establishment of a covalent bond between DMSA and GA moieties. Clusters of several magnetic cores entrapped in a shell of GA were obtained, with good colloidal stability and promising magnetic relaxation properties (r2/r1 ratio of 350). HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cell line was used for in vitro cytotoxicity evaluation and cell-labeling efficiency studies. We show that, upon administration at the respective IC50, GA coating enhances MNP cellular uptake by 19 times compared to particles bearing only DMSA moieties. Accordingly, in vitro MR images of cells incubated with increasing concentrations of GA-coated MNP present dose-dependent contrast enhancement. The obtained results suggest that the GA magnetic nanosystem could be used as a MRI contrast agent for cell-labeling applications. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Palma, SICJ, Frazao J, Alves R, Costa HMA, Alves C, Gamboa H, Silveira M, Roque ACA.  2022.  Learning to see VOCs with Liquid Crystal Droplets, may. 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Olfaction and Electronic Nose (ISOEN). :1–4.: IEEE AbstractPDFWebsite

In hybrid gels with immobilized liquid crystal
(LC) droplets, fast and unique optical texture variations are
generated when distinct volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
interact with the LC and disturb its molecular order. The
optical texture variations can be observed under a polarized
optical microscope or transduced into a signal representing the
variations of light transmitted through the LC. We show how
hybrid gels can accurately identify 11 distinct VOCs by using
deep learning to analyze optical texture variations of individual
droplets (0.93 average F1-score) and by using machine learning
to analyze 1D optical signals from multiple droplets in hybrid
gels (0.88 average F1-score)

Palma, SICJ, Esteves C, Pádua AC, Alves CM, Santos GMC, Costa HMA, Dionisio M, Gamboa H, Gruber J, Roque ACA.  2019.  Enhanced gas sensing with soft functional materials, May 2019. ISOEN 2019 - 18th International Symposium on Olfaction and Electronic Nose, Proceedings. , Fukuoka, Japan: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. AbstractPDF

The materials described in this work result from the selfassembly of liquid crystals and ionic liquids into droplets,
stabilized within a biopolymeric matrix. These systems are
extremely versatile gels, in terms of composition, and offer
potential for fine tuning of both structure and function, as
each individual component can be varied. Here, the
characterization and application of these gels as sensing thin
films in gas sensor devices is presented. The unique
supramolecular structure of the gels is explored for molecular
recognition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by
employing gels with distinct formulations to yield
combinatorial optical and electrical responses used in the
distinction and identification of VOCs.

Palma, S, Traguedo AP, Porteira AR, Frias MJ, Gamboa H, Roque ACA.  2018.  Machine learning for the meta-analyses of microbial pathogens’ volatile signatures. Scientific Reports. 8:3360. Abstractdataset and scripts PDFWebsite

Non-invasive and fast diagnostic tools based on volatolomics hold great promise in the control of infectious diseases. However, the tools to identify microbial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) discriminating between human pathogens are still missing. Artificial intelligence is increasingly recognised as an essential tool in health sciences. Machine learning algorithms based in support vector machines and features selection tools were here applied to find sets of microbial VOCs with pathogen-discrimination power. Studies reporting VOCs emitted by human microbial pathogens published between 1977 and 2016 were used as source data. A set of 18 VOCs is sufficient to predict the identity of 11 microbial pathogens with high accuracy (77%), and precision (62–100%). There is one set of VOCs associated with each of the 11 pathogens which can predict the presence of that pathogen in a sample with high accuracy and precision (86–90%). The implemented pathogen classification methodology supports future database updates to include new pathogen-VOC data, which will enrich the classifiers. The sets of VOCs identified potentiate the improvement of the selectivity of non-invasive infection diagnostics using artificial olfaction devices.

Palma, SICJ, Fernandes AR, Roque ACA.  2016.  An affinity triggered MRI nanoprobe for pH-dependent cell labeling. RSC Adv.. 6:113503–113512., Number 114: Royal Society of Chemistry AbstractWebsite

The pH-sensitive affinity pair composed by neutravidin and iminobiotin was used to develop a multilayered Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) nanoprobe responsive to the acidic pH of tumor microenvironment. The multilayer system was assembled on meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid-coated iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNP), which convey negative MRI contrast enhancement properties to the nanoprobe. The outer stealth PEG-layer is altered in acidic media due to the disruption of interactions between neutravidin–iminobiotin. As a consequence, the positively charged inner layer is exposed and enhances interactions with cells. The nanoprobe uptake by HCT116 cells cultured in vitro under acidic conditions had a 2-fold increase compared to the uptake at physiological pH. The uptake difference is particularly clear in T2-weighted MRI phantoms of cells incubated with the nanoprobes at both pH conditions. This work sets the proof-of-concept of a MNP-based MRI nanoprobe targeting acidic tumor microenvironment through the use of a specific bio-recognition interaction that is pH-sensitive. This tumor targeting strategy is potentially applicable to the generality of tumors since the typical hypoxic conditions and high glycolysis rate in cancer cells create an acidic environment common to the majority of cancer types.

Pappas, CG, Wijerathne N, Sahoo JK, Jain A, Kroiss D, Sasselli IR, Pina AS, Lampel A, Ulijn RV.  2020.  Spontaneous Aminolytic Cyclization and Self-Assembly ofDipeptide Methyl Esters in Water. ChemSystemsChem. 2(e2000013):1-7.
Pina, AS, Guilherme M, Pereira AS, Fernandes CSM, Branco RJF, Lowe CR, Roque ACA.  2014.  A tailor made affinity pair “tag-receptor” for the purification of fusion proteins. ChemBioChem. 15(10):1423-35. AbstractWebsite

A novel affinity “tag–receptor” pair was developed as a generic platform for the purification of fusion proteins. The hexapeptide RKRKRK was selected as the affinity tag and fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). The DNA fragments were designed, cloned in Pet-21c expression vector and expressed in E. coli host as soluble protein. A solid-phase combinatorial library based on the Ugi reaction was synthesized: 64 affinity ligands displaying complementary functionalities towards the designed tag. The library was screened by affinity chromatography in a 96-well format for binding to the RKRKRK-tagged GFP protein. Lead ligand A7C1 was selected for the purification of RKRKRK fusion proteins. The affinity pair RKRKRK-tagged GFP with A7C1 emerged as a promising solution (Ka of 2.45×105 M−1). The specificity of the ligand towards the tag was observed experimentally and theoretically through automated docking and molecular dynamics simulations.

Pina, AS, Batalha IL, Roque ACA.  2014.  Affinity Tags in Protein Purification and Peptide Enrichment: An Overview. Protein Downstream Processing: Design, Development and Application of High and Low-Resolution Methods. (Labrou, Nikolaos, Ed.).:147-168.: Springer Abstract

The reversible interaction between an affinity ligand and a complementary receptor has been widely explored in purification systems for several biomolecules. The development of tailored affinity ligands highly specific towards particular target biomolecules is one of the options in affinity purification systems. However, both genetic and chemical modifications on proteins and peptides widen the application of affinity ligand-tag receptor pairs towards universal capture and purification strategies. In particular, this chapter will focus on two case studies highly relevant for biotechnology and biomedical areas, namely, the affinity tags and receptors employed on the production of recombinant fusion proteins and the chemical modification of phosphate groups on proteins and peptides and the subsequent specific capture and enrichment, a mandatory step before further proteomic analysis.

Pina, AS, Roque ACA.  2009.  Studies on the molecular recognition between bioactive peptides and angiotensin-converting enzyme, apr. Journal of Molecular Recognition. 22:162–168., Number 2 AbstractWebsite

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition affecting many individuals and represents a controllable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. A non-pharmacological approach to manage these includes the application of food components with antihypertensive activity. Milk protein-derived peptides have been exploited as natural hypotensive agents, namely the peptides {Val-Pro-Pro} {(VPP)} and {Ile-Pro-Pro} {(IPP)}, already commercialized in functional foods as a potential alternative to synthetic drugs. These bioactive peptides inhibit in vitro and in vivo the Angiotensin I-converting enzyme {(ACE)}, a protein with an important role in blood pressure regulation. In this work, we attempted to elucidate the possible mode of interaction between the peptides and {ACE}, including mechanisms of binding to the cofactor Zn2+, and further contrast this with the known mode of inhibition exerted by synthetic drugs {(Captopril}, Enalaprilat and Lisinopril). The bioactive peptide {Ala-Leu-Pro-Met-His-Ile-Arg} {(ALPMHIR)}, also known to inhibit the enzyme {ACE} but with a lower efficiency than {VPP} and {IPP}, was utilized in the docking studies for comparison. It was observed that the best docking poses obtained for {VPP} and {IPP} were located at the {ACE} catalytic site with very high resemblance to the drugs mode of interaction, including the coordination with Zn2+. As for {ALPMHIR}, the best docking poses were located in the narrow {ACE} channel outside the catalytic site, representing higher affinity energies and fewer resemblances with the interaction established by drugs.

Pina, AS, Dias AMGC, Ustok FI, Khoury GE, Fernandes CSM, Branco RJF, Lowe CR, Roque ACA.  2015.  Mild and cost-effective green fluorescent protein purification employing small synthetic ligands. Journal of Chromatography A. 1418:83-93. AbstractWebsite

Abstract The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a useful indicator in a broad range of applications including cell biology, gene expression and biosensing. However, its full potential is hampered by the lack of a selective, mild and low-cost purification scheme. In order to address this demand, a novel adsorbent was developed as a generic platform for the purification of \{GFP\} or \{GFP\} fusion proteins, giving \{GFP\} a dual function as reporter and purification tag. After screening a solid-phase combinatorial library of small synthetic ligands based on the Ugi-reaction, the lead ligand (A4C7) selectively recovered \{GFP\} with 94% yield and 94% purity under mild conditions and directly from Escherichia coli extracts. Adsorbents containing the ligand \{A4C7\} maintained the selectivity to recover other proteins fused to GFP. The performance of \{A4C7\} adsorbents was compared with two commercially available methods (immunoprecipitation and hydrophobic interaction chromatography), confirming the new adsorbent as a low-cost viable alternative for \{GFP\} purification.

Pina, AS, Batalha ÍL, Fernandes CSM, Aoki MA, Roque ACA.  2014.  Exploring the potential of magnetic antimicrobial agents for water disinfection. Water Research. 66:160–168. AbstractWebsite

Industrial and urban activities yield large amounts of contaminated groundwater, which present a major health issue worldwide. Infectious diseases are the most common health risk associated with drinking-water and wastewater remediation is a major concern of our modern society. The field of wastewater treatment is being revolutionized by new nano-scale water disinfection devices which outperform most currently available technologies. In particular, iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been widely used in environmental applications due to their unique physical–chemical properties. In this work, poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG)-coated MNPs have been functionalized with (RW)3, an antimicrobial peptide, to yield a novel magnetic-responsive support with antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli K-12 DSM498 and Bacillus subtilis 168. The magnetic-responsive antimicrobial device showed to be able to successfully disinfect the surrounding solution. Using a rapid high-throughput screening platform, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined to be 500 μM for both strains with a visible bactericidal effect.

Pina, AS, Batalha IL, Dias AMGC, Roque ACA.  2021.  Affinity tags in protein purification and peptide enrichment: An overview, in Protein Downstream Processing: Design, Development, and Application of High and Low-Resolution Methods. Methods in Molecular Biology. :107-132.: Springer-Humana Press
Pina, AS, Hussain A, Roque ACA.  2009.  An historical overview of drug discovery. Ligand-Macromolecule Interactions in Drug Discovery. (Roque, A. C. A., Ed.).:3-12., USA: Humana Press Inc. Abstract

Drug Discovery in modern times straddles three main periods. The first notable period can be traced to the nineteenth century where the basis of drug discovery relied on the serendipity of the medicinal chemists. The second period commenced around the early twentieth century when new drug structures were found, which contributed for a new era of antibiotics discovery. Based on these known structures, and with the development of powerful new techniques such as molecular modelling, combinatorial chemistry, and automated high-throughput screening, rapid advances occurred in drug discovery towards the end of the century. The period also was revolutionized by the emergence of recombinant DNA technology, where it became possible to develop potential drugs target candidates. With all the expansion of new technologies and the onset of the "Omics" revolution in the twenty-first century, the third period has kick-started with an increase in biopharmaceutical drugs approved by FDA/EMEA for therapeutic use.

Pina, AS, Carvalho S, Dias AMGC, Guilherme M, Pereira AS, Caraça LT, Coroadinha AS, Lowe CR, Roque ACA.  2016.  Tryptophan tags and de novo designed complementary affinity ligands for the expression and purification of recombinant proteins. Journal of Chromatography A. 1472:55–65. AbstractWebsite

A common strategy for the production and purification of recombinant proteins is to fuse a tag to the protein terminal residues and employ a “tag-specific” ligand for fusion protein capture and purification. In this work, we explored the effect of two tryptophan-based tags, NWNWNW and WFWFWF, on the expression and purification of Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) used as a model fusion protein. The titers obtained with the expression of these fusion proteins in soluble form were 0.11 mg ml−1 and 0.48 mg ml−1 for WFWFWF and NWNWNW, respectively. A combinatorial library comprising 64 ligands based on the Ugi reaction was prepared and screened for binding GFP-tagged and non-tagged proteins. Complementary ligands A2C2 and A3C1 were selected for the effective capture of NWNWNW and WFWFWF tagged proteins, respectively, in soluble forms. These affinity pairs displayed 106 M−1 affinity constants and Qmax values of 19.11 ± 2.60 ug g−1 and 79.39 ug g−1 for the systems WFWFWF AND NWNWNW, respectively. GFP fused to the WFWFWF affinity tag was also produced as inclusion bodies, and a refolding-on column strategy was explored using the ligand A4C8, selected from the combinatorial library of ligands but in presence of denaturant agents.

Pina, AS, Lowe CR, Roque ACA.  2014.  Challenges and opportunities in the purification of recombinant tagged proteins. Biotechnology Advances. 32(2):366-381. AbstractWebsite

The purification of recombinant proteins by affinity chromatography is one of the most efficient strategies due to the high recovery yields and purity achieved. However, this is dependent on the availability of specific affinity adsorbents for each particular target protein. The diversity of proteins to be purified augments the complexity and number of specific affinity adsorbents needed, and therefore generic platforms for the purification of recombinant proteins are appealing strategies. This justifies why genetically encoded affinity tags became so popular for recombinant protein purification, as these systems only require specific ligands for the capture of the fusion protein through a pre-defined affinity tag tail. There is a wide range of available affinity pairs “tag-ligand” combining biological or structural affinity ligands with the respective binding tags. This review gives a general overview of the well-established “tag-ligand” systems available for fusion protein purification and also explores current unconventional strategies under development.

Pina, AS, Lowe CR, Roque ACA.  2010.  Comparison of Fluorescence Labelling Techniques for the Selection of Affinity Ligands from Solid-Phase Combinatorial Libraries. Separation Science and Technology. 45:2187–2193., Number 15 Abstract

This study reports the comparison of fluorimetric techniques (fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry on a 96-well format) for the on-bead screening of combinatorial libraries of affinity ligands for chromatographic separations. Two solid-phase libraries of synthetic ligands based on distinct scaffolds were synthesized by combinatorial chemistry. The libraries comprising ligands representing different hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties and sizes were tested for binding to randomly selected biomolecules (labelled with a fluorophore). Fluorescence microscopy was revealed to be a reliable and reproducible technique for the detection of lead ligands which strongly bound the target biomolecule. Results obtained by fluorescence intensity measurements in a 96-well format were less consistent, mainly due to challenges related with the accurate dispensing of the solid support.