The Macromolecular Interactions Facility (MacInFac) recently applied for and was just awarded, a North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) innovation impact grant for a Biacore 8K, a high-throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) -based biosensor.  With its ultra-low noise level, high sensitivity and high throughput capability, it will not only replace the current aged instrumentation in the facility, but will add new capabilities.
This is the 4th NCBC grant to Dr. Ash Tripathy, MacInFac Director.

SPR technology is considered the “gold standard” for exploring macromolecular interactions with their cognate ligands in real time, especially with limited sample amounts.  Using a minute quantity of a macromolecule (5 µg), it can measure the on rate (kon), the off rate (koff), and the dissociation constant (KD) of a bi-molecular interaction.
Dr. Tripathy states: “In our facility, SPR technology has been used to explore antigen-antibody, DNA-protein, RNA-protein, protein-protein, protein-peptide, protein-small molecule, and RNA-small molecule interactions very successfully by many PI’s in our campus and Triangle-based biotechnology companies. The Biacore 8K will not only be able to perform all these types of experiments, but its ultra-low noise level will allow us to explore binding kinetics of small molecule and fragment – with almost no lower MW detection cutoff –  drug “leads“  against protein and RNA targets, and the very tight binding kinetics of many designed antibodies against their respective ligands. In addition, it will be used as a platform for screening of small molecule and fragment libraries in drug discovery research.

In addition to its utilization for research purposes, the SPR-based biosensor is used for instruction in a graduate course “Macromolecular Interactions” (BIOC 662), which is a critical component of the Biophysics training program at UNC.

The new instrument is expected to be operational by early summer 2020.

The Macromolecular Interactions Facility, located in the Genome Sciences Building Room 1124,  provides access to, and training on, an array of instrumentation for biophysical characterization of biological macromolecules and their interactions with cognate ligands.

Visit their website for more information: https://www.med.unc.edu/csb/macinfac/