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Content archived on 2024-05-29

New analytical platform for allergen detection


This project is aimed at a better understanding, diagnosis and treatment orientation of allergy, a disease undergoing explosive and worrisome progress. The team will design a new, miniature and automated multicriteria platform for separating allergens from food and/or environmental samples, and for detecting their allergenic activities on patient antibodies immobilised on anti-IgE and anti IgG4 strips. The project proposes a dramatic renewal of protein separation conventional schemes, by combining isoelectr ic focusing with a novel second dimension electrophoresis preserving the native, active structure of the proteins. This paradigmatic change will be associated with the power of newly developed microfluidic (lab-on-chip) systems, and with a new sensitive el ectrochemical method for the measurement of label free affinity sensograms, to allow automated and quantitative multicriteria screening. In contrast with current screening methods for allergy, which search for the response of a patient's serum to a limite d predefined set of known allergens, the approach developed in this project aims at screening the COMPLETE SET of potential allergens contained in a whole food extract (or more generally in any sample relevant to the patient's environment) against the pati ent's IgE and IgG4, WITHOUT ANY A PRIORI LIMITATION, and to identify the nature of the captured immunogens. Thus, besides strong innovation in the methodology of protein separation, the project proposes a radical enhancement in the power of allergen screen ing, with considerable potential for research, diagnosis and treatment follow-up of allergy.

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