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Collaboration Opportunity - Mass Spectrometry

Stephen Hillier posted the following on the chemistry Innovation KTN website, which may be of interest to the ESP KTN membership. 

An organic chemistry research group in the School of Chemistry at UEA, Norwich is looking to form a partnership with a dynamic and progressive, research led mass spectroscopy company. 
The group is in the process (via a CASE award) of developing an innovative new High Throughput Screening (HTS) platform for investigating small molecule – protein interactions, small molecule – carbohydrate interactions and small molecule – DNA / RNA interactions using commercially available gold compact disks (cheap, readily available) as hosts for the immobilisation of small molecules that have been appended on top of photocleavable linkers. The aim is to investigate the ability to bind bioactive entities using mass spectroscopy (MS). Thus the intension is to use mass spectroscopy as an analysis tool with which to probe for small molecule – protein / carbohydrate / DNA / RNA interactions using MALDI (?) as not only a source of photocleavable light but also for the subsequent analysis of any binding event. 
With respect the chemistry we have undertaken in Phase 1 the group: (a) have developed a series of unique / conformationally defined small molecules (b) are able to selectively remove the protective plastic coatings on the gold CD to reveal the naked gold surface (c) have appended simple molecules onto the ‘released’ gold surface (d) have rewired a conventional CD player such that they can ‘monitor’ the surface (using an oscilloscope) of the gold CDs (e) anticipate that they will be in a position to append their desired molecules onto a gold CD before the end of 2010. 
The group is now in a position to move to Phase 2 and investigate the feasibility of using MS to interrogate if the desired molecules have been appended onto the gold surface of the CD and subsequently their potential to undergo a binding event with a biological entity. They would like to develop (with a collaborator) a MS system that has the capacity to use / accept compact disks, this is a platform that has not been used before in MS (as far as we know) therefore our problem requires the expertise of a company who have experience in ‘building’ bespoke MS systems suited to platforms that are not conventionally used. Looking to the future it is our aim that we try and develop a portable device that can be used ‘in the field’, be this for HTS, anti-terror or medicinal needs.
For further information please contact Dr Sean Beau at UEA
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