, Volume 359, Issue 1, pp 15-22

Label free binding assay with spectroscopic detection for pharmaceutical screening

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Abstract

Many therapeutic drugs exert their effects by interaction with well defined molecular targets. Increasing knowledge in molecular biology allows identification of more and more molecular key compounds and in consequence a molecular approach to disease and therapy. As binding of drugs to their target compounds is a key event, binding assays with an appropriate target molecule are useful means for primary screening of novel substances. We have investigated the potential of thin film interference spectroscopy (RIFS) as a label free detection method for pharmaceutical screening in a binding inhibition assay. To meet the throughput requirements in pharmaceutical screening a parallel detection system based on imaging spectroscopy was constructed. Thrombin/thrombin inhibitor interaction was investigated as a model system. The thin film transducer was covalently modified with a thrombin inhibitor. Specific binding of thrombin and binding inhibition by inhibitor compounds could be observed. A test cycle of less than 10 min could be reached. The parallel setup allows the simultaneous detection of 96 binding curves and can reach a throughput of more than 106 samples per year.

Received: 26 November 1996 / Revised: 17 February 1997 / Accepted: 22 February 1997