APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- High-throughput protein and DNA/RNA purification
- Electrophoresis tools
- Pharmaceuticals and chemicals manufacturing
- Proteomics and molecular biology research
- Mass spectrometry sample preparation
- More efficient, high-throughput collection of separated molecules
- Enables collection of molecules sized from 10 to 250 kDa
- Can be scaled up for simultaneous collection of many samples/fractions
- Can be used for native or denaturing gels
- Enables rapid purification and identification of stable biomolecules and protein complexes
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have invented an apparatus for efficiently collecting molecules isolated by gel electrophoresis so they can be further analyzed, identified, or used as reagents or medications. The device collects biomolecules (protein, DNA, RNA, or pieces thereof) as they migrate off the bottom of gels. It uses a combination of fluid dynamics, electromotive forces, and gravity to increase the efficiency, concentration, and speed at which the bands of molecules are eluted into collecting wells.
The device uses multiple parallel channels, harvests molecules at an efficiency of 50% or more, and has been scaled up and automated for high throughput. The eluted fractions are delivered directly into multiwell plates, where the molecules can be digested, if necessary, and directly analyzed by mass spectrometry or other techniques. The method can be used with native or denatured protein electrophoresis to analyze protein complexes in biological systems.
The Berkeley Lab technology can be used for everything from small polypeptides or nucleic acid sequences to large proteins or crude cell extracts. The apparatus can combine gels of different concentrations and lengths, as in a gradient gel, to isolate, with high resolution, molecules over a wide range of sizes (e.g., 10–250 kDa). In a contrasting application, the Berkeley Lab technology can quickly isolate a specific band in a gel of a particular concentration.
The invention is a vast improvement over current techniques for extracting separated molecules, which are slow and labor-intensive and process no more than a few samples at a time. Furthermore, the existing techniques can be used on only a narrow size range of molecules.
STATUS: Published patent application US2010/020167 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Bench scale testing has been completed.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2530