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Chemistry Colloquium | Quantitative Analysis of Biomolecules: from Stoichiometry to Artificial Enzymes, April 4

The Chemistry & Biochemistry Colloquium Series presents Dr. Irina V. Nesterova discussing "Quantitative Analysis of Biomolecules: from Stoichiometry to Artificial Enzymes" on April 4 from 4:10 to 5:05 p.m. in Walter 245.

Nesterova is assistant professor of chemistry at Northern Illinois University. 


Abstract: Accessibility of appropriate tools for quantitative analysis of biological targets is crucial for clinical assessments, is an important criterion for public health risk management, and even is a subject of legislative regulations. While well-established approaches (i.e. qPCR for nucleic acids and ELISA for proteins) do provide adequate quantitative information, they are, en masse, rather costly, intricate, and contingent upon accessibility of an equipped lab. Therefore, the demand for simple and efficient ways to measure biomarker amounts has not been met up to date.


Our new platform for quantitative analysis of biomolecules takes upon a proven over centuries route towards quantitative information: stoichiometry. In the approach, we successfully combine the intrinsic selectivity of biorecognition with a challenging for biomolecules issue of discerning the equivalence point. Particularly, to enable transducing the equivalence point, we engineer a negative cooperativity mechanism into target/probe binding. As a result, the target analyzed against a range of probe concentrations yields a response profile that is indicative of target’s quantities.


Further, to extend the utility of quantitative measurements towards point-of-care and/or do-it-yourself situations, we develop a new instrument-free signal transduction platform. The platform involves an artificial enzyme that folds upon target recognition and activates a signal transduction detectable by a naked eye. The enzymes are based on nucleic acids scaffolds and are compatible with a wide range of targets.   


Our proof-of-concept models involve oligonucleotide and antibody targets. However, the general principles established in our project will extend towards quantitative analysis of other biomarkers.

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