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The next generation of diagnostics, therapeutics and drug discovery depend on the combination of greater biomolecule detection accuracy and quantification sensitivity. At the Ryerson Analytical Biochemistry Lab, we develop reliable and ultra-sensitive detection methods for biomolecules, which can be applied over a wide range of applications from disease diagnostics to environmental monitoring.
Also, we conduct large-scale and systematic comparisons between normal and disease states using powerful computation software, which reveals many important biomolecules as diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
The Marshall Team uses a variety of methods including:
- Mass spectrometric
- Laser confocal microscopic
COVID-19 Challenge: Increase Sensitivity
In the global fight against COVID-19 our lab is currently conducting the following research:
- Translating ELiMSA™ into an ultra-sensitive and reliable assay for use in diagnostics and serology against SARS-CoV-2, and ultimately validating the technology for use with future diseases.
- Conducting a large-scale proteomics study of SARS-CoV-2 to better understand the physiological effects and potential biomarkers associated with the disease.
- Perform clinical testing and academic investigation internationally in collaborations with St. Michael’s Hospital, external link in Toronto, and National Taiwan University, external link in Taipei City.
ELiMSA™ = ELISA + Mass Spectrometry
ELiMSA™ (Enzyme-Linked Mass Spectrometric Assay) is the patented combination of the widely-used scientific diagnostic technique ELISA, with the most sensitive and specific hardware known as the mass spectrometer.
The ELiMSA™ detection method can reliably identify and quantify any biomolecule (protein, peptide, antibody, DNA or RNA from human blood or tissue samples) to the zeptomole level or below -- which is considered yoctomole range.
Current research is focused on using this combination of ultra sensitivity and reliability to position the ELiMSA™ detection method to address current testing problems highlighted by COVID-19: too many false positives and negatives.
LARC (Ligand Affinity Receptor Chromatography)
LARC is a novel technology using nano beads to discover cell surface receptors, coreceptors, and their associated complexes, which are the most important therapeutic
Drugs, mutants and siRNA are used to confirm and validate the significance of the identified targets.
Biomarker Discovery Platform
Our biomarker discovery platform combines sample preparation techniques, mass spectrometry and a data analytic computation system to generate large scale blood peptide and protein databases.
The integration of a large-scale SQL/R database with proprietary separation & fragmentation techniques enables the identification and quantification of low abundant proteins in samples. Conventional technologies and techniques, combined with classical statistics, is reliable and allows for reproducible and confident results.