Nanogen announced today it was issued Patent No. 6,942,778, "Microstructure Apparatus and Method for Separating Differently Charged Molecules Using an Applied Electric Field" by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The '778 patent relates to a biological screening device used to monitor the activity of kinase, protease or phosphatase enzymes on peptide substrates. The device may be used to monitor a change in net charge of a target molecule as a result of enzyme activity. The technology described in Nanogen's 132nd patent also allows for simpler, faster and safer molecular analyses using fluorescent labeling.
Kinase dependant phosphorylation screening is often used in drug discovery research to determine if lead drug candidates have an effect on the target of interest. Kinase activity can be monitored through a change in the net charge of the peptide of interest. This device provides a simple solution to separate peptides or other differentially charged molecules in a sample for detection and quantification of a molecule of interest. Using electronic technology for the separation of kinases and substrates results in fewer false negatives and false positive results. This device uses fluorometry to detect kinase activity and eliminates the need for radioactive isotopes. The more precise quantitative assessment of kinase activity of Nanogen's device provides a faster means of identifying targets in drug discovery.