Biomolecular interaction analysis (BIA) is a biosensor technology for monitoring molecular interactions in real time, without the use of labels. Molecules can include proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids and low molecular weight molecules such as pharmaceuticals. Substances in crude extracts can be studied as well as particulates such as viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic cells. Interactions are detected using the optical phenomenon surface plasmon resonance (SPR) which detects changes in the refractive index of the solution close to the sensor chip surface. Any change in surface concentration resulting from an interaction is detected as an SPR signal, measured in resonance units (RU). Continuous display of RU as a function of time provides a real-time record of molecular associations and dissociations.
Biacore systems can monitor almost any molecular interaction as long as one of the interaction partners can be immobilized on a sensor surface. The technology is unique in that it can provide such comprehensive information in real time, without the use of labels and in one system.
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Dr Claire Harris
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