"Glycomics is currently one of the most progressively evolving scientific fields due to ever growing evidence glycans (sugars) are involved in many aspects of cell physiology and pathology. Glycans are information-rich molecules responsible for sophisticated storage and coding “commands” the cell has to perform to stay “fit” and to deal with uninvited pathogens. Thus, it is very important the “glycocode” is correctly deciphered by the cell to stay healthy, but pathogens developed nasty tricks how to crack the “glycocode“ to their benefit by stealing glycan identity of the host to stay unrecognised until it is too late. A better understanding of these processes can help to develop new, potent and nature-based vaccines and drugs.
Glycomics stayed behind advances in genomics and proteomics, but due to advent of high-throughput biochips glycomics is catching up very quickly. Two biochip formats available to study challenging and complex field of glycomics are either based on immobilised glycans (glycan biochips) or glycan recognising molecules – lectins (lectin biochips). Both technologies proved to be a success story to reveal amazing, precisely tuned “glycocode” reading, but so far biochips do not work under conditions resembling natural process of glycan deciphering.
The aim of the project is to develop biochips for fundamental study of the effect of precisely tuned ligand (glycan and lectin) density, presence of mixed glycans and the length of glycans on the glycan biorecognition. This task will be executed with the aid of nanotechnology to control these aspects at the nanoscale. Moreover, novel label-free electrochemical detection strategies will be used to mimic natural glycan recognition performing without any label. Finally, advanced patterning protocols and novel detection platforms will be integrated to develop fully robust biochips for functional assay of samples from people having some disease with a search for a particular biomarker of the disease."
Fields of science
- natural scienceschemical scienceselectrochemistry
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteinsproteomics
- engineering and technologynanotechnology
- medical and health sciencesbasic medicinepharmacology and pharmacypharmaceutical drugsvaccines
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculescarbohydrates
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