, Volume 377, Issue 5, pp 834-842
Date: 07 Aug 2003

Label-free screening of bio-molecular interactions

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Abstract

The majority of techniques currently employed to interrogate a biomolecular interaction require some type of radio- or enzymatic- or fluorescent-labelling to report the binding event. However, there is an increasing awareness of novel techniques that do not require labelling of the ligand or the receptor, and that allow virtually any complex to be screened with minimal assay development. This review focuses on three major label-free screening platforms: surface plasmon resonance biosensors, acoustic biosensors, and calorimetric biosensors. Scientists in both academia and industry are using biosensors in areas that encompass almost all areas drug discovery, diagnostics, and the life sciences. The capabilities and advantages of each technique are compared and key applications involving small molecules, proteins, oligonucleotides, bacteriophage, viruses, bacteria, and cells are reviewed. The role of the interface between the biosensor surface (in the case of SPR and acoustic biosensors) and the chemical or biological systems to be studied is also covered with attention to the covalent and non-covalent coupling chemistries commonly employed.