Immunoengineering Seminar Series

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"Label-free Detection of Biomolecular Interactions using Backscattering Interferometry"

Michael Baksh (Finn lab)

Direct and quantitative observations of ligand-protein interactions are notoriously difficult to perform due to the associated membrane. Though assays exist to examine this class of molecular interactions, targets of interest must typically undergo covalent modification and removal from the native membrane environment prior to observation. Here we will describe a label-free screening assay for membrane proteins. The method is based on the use of backscattering interferometry to observe ligand-receptor binding events in a solution-based, native membrane environment. Minute changes in the refractive index of the bulk solution caused by cognate ligand-receptor interactions are observed and quantified. Implementation of this platform to investigate equilibrium binding measurements over a wide range of affinities will be discussed.

"Understanding Protein Nanoparticles Vaccine Adjuvancy"

Tim Chang (Champion lab)

Highly conserved pathogen proteins are essential for broadly cross-protective vaccines, but tend to be poorly immunogenic. We have previously demonstrated that protein nanoparticle vaccines made from conserved pathogen proteins trigger specific, adaptive immune responses that soluble protein vaccines cannot. Without excipients or adjuvants, protein nanoparticles eliminate the possibility of off-target immune responses, and their abiotic nature makes them amenable to cold chain-independent storage and use. The mechanisms by which protein nanoparticles enhance component protein immunogenicity are still not well understood. It is hypothesized that dendritic cells, the most potent antigen-presenting cells, and the bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, are responsible for mediating this effect. In this work, we investigate the role of size and surface properties of model ovalbumin protein nanoparticles on particle uptake, maturation factor expression and antigen presentation in the JAWS II dendritic cell line.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Colly Mitchell
  • Created:07/29/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:04/13/2017