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Funding Update: NSF Microarray Grants: Sep 25, 2012

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NSF Microarray Grants Awarded March 27 — Sept. 24, 2012

Development of a teretoxin neuropeptide array for investigating neuronal circuits
Start date: April 20, 2012
Expires: Feb. 29, 2016
Awarded amount to date: $168,886
Principal investigator: Mande Holford
Sponsor: CUNY Hunter College

The specific objectives of this research project are to: discover novel teretoxins using charged-enhanced electron-transfer dissociation mass spectrometry techniques; synthesize teretoxin-GPI chimeras using several chemical synthesis strategies; and develop a teretoxin-GPI neuropeptide microarray to do high-throughput screening of ion channel ligands. The researchers aim to develop a systematic approach for identifying cysteine-rich neurotoxins from the enormous peptide toxin libraries of scorpions, snakes, and spiders, in addition to marine snails.


Solution microarray multiplexed biomarker immunoassays
Start date: July 1, 2012
Expires: Dec. 31, 2012
Awarded amount to date: $50,000
Principal investigator: Shuichi Takayama
Sponsor: University of Michigan Ann Arbor
The researchers plan to develop multiplexed immunoassay microarrays where no mixing of detection antibodies occurs. To do this, they will rely on microfluidic technology, and hope to eventually provide new tools for use in proteomics studies. The researchers also aim to translate their laboratory research results into commercial products and services.


Kinetics of polymer interfacial reactions
Start date: Aug. 1, 2012
Expires: July 31, 2015
Awarded amount to date: $135,000
Principal investigator: Jeffrey Koberstein
Sponsor: Columbia University

The goal of this research project is to better understand the factors that influence interfacial reactions of long-chain polymer molecules. As the grafting of polymers to a surface is used in biosensors, where biomolecules such as DNA are tethered to substrates to prepare microarrays, the researchers claim that knowledge of these interfacial grafting reactions is "essential" to optimize array-related and other applications. To accomplish this, model interfacial click reactions between a substrate modified with an azide function monolayer and a polymer terminated with an alkyne group will be studied by infrared spectroscopy using a multiple internal reflection technique that samples the absorbance of the azide absorbance band, which disappears upon reaction.


Dynamic self-assembly of glycolipids for unveiling complex glycan-protein interactions
Start date: Aug. 15, 2012
Expires: July 31, 2015
Awarded amount to date: $300,000
Principal investigator: Xiaoyang Zhu
Sponsor: University of Texas at Austin

The researchers plan to develop an approach based on fluidic glycan microarrays to carry out large-scale analysis of glycan-binding proteins binding affinity and specificity at a quantitative level, and to guide the synthesis of oligoglycan structures with enhanced affinity and selectivity. They claim their fluidic glycan microarray allows precise control of glycan density over many orders of magnitude, enabling a complete binding isotherm with quantitative information on multivalency and the multivalent binding constant. They also claim that the dynamic assembly of simple glycans in the fluidic lipid bilayer environment of the array, combined with the flexibility of glycan structures, may allow the functional simulation of complex oligoglycans in mediating binding to glycan-binding proteins, providing guidance in the targeted design and synthesis of more complex oligoglycans.


Reel-to-reel assembly of lab-on-a-film diagnostic tests
Start date: Sept. 1, 2012
Expires: Aug. 31, 2014
Awarded amount to date: $498,780
Principal investigator: Christopher Cooney
Sponsor: Akonni Biosystems

The goal of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing valveless molecular lateral flow cells for gel drop microarrays using reel-to-reel assembly equipment. The company hopes to show that it can positively identify clinical samples for infectious disease on the reel-to-reel-manufactured lab-on-a-film assemblies.


Rapid identification of pathogenic bacteria based on long-range SERS microarray biosensors
Start date: Sept. 15, 2012
Expires: Aug. 31, 2015
Awarded amount to date: $298,218
Principal investigator: Qiuming Yu
Sponsor: University of Washington

The researchers plan to develop a new biosensor platform based on long-range surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for the detection and identification of pathogenic bacteria. They aim to design new LR-SERS substrates using theoretical electromagnetic calculations and to develop a microarray biosensor based on the LR-SERS platform. While the LR-SERS microarray biosensor will be targeted for identification of any pathogenic bacteria, the researchers will use the isolates of Vibrio species for testing because the pathogenic marine bacterium V. Parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of seafood-borne bacterial illness in the world.


Oligotrophic phytoplankton community response to changes in N substrates and the resulting impact on genetic, taxonomic and functional diversity
Start date: Jan. 1, 2013
Expires: Dec. 31, 2015
Awarded amount to date: $1,989,972
Principal investigators: Matthew Church, Kevin Arrigo, Jonathan Zehr
Sponsor: University of Hawaii, Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz

This project seeks to determine how taxonomic, genetic and functional dimensions of phytoplankton diversity are linked with community-level responses to the availability of different nitrogen substrates — NH4+, NO3-, and urea — in one of Earth's largest aquatic habitats, the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. The project will characterize phytoplankton community composition change and gene expression, photosynthetic performance, carbon fixation, and single-cell level N and carbon uptake in different taxa within the phytoplankton assemblage in response to different N compounds. To do this, they will rely on fast-repetition rate fluorometry, nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry, and a comprehensive marine microbial community microarray. The results will provide predictive understanding of how changes in the availability of key nitrogen pools may impact phytoplankton dynamics and function in the ocean.

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