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Speeding ­p Quality Control For Biologics

By MIT News

May 23, 2017

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Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new method for analyzing biologics in production, based on a series of nanoscale filters.

"If you have analytics that consume a very small amount of a sample but also provide critical safety information about aggregation and binding, we can think about point-of-care analytics," says MIT professor Jongyoon Han.

He tested whether the nanofilters could be adjusted to sort proteins by size as they flow through a minuscule channel, enabling continuous, automatic monitoring as the proteins are generated. The data can signal clumping, an indication that the protein's original structure has destabilized.

Han says size sorting also can show whether proteins adhere to their intended targets, by combining biologics and protein fragments to which the drugs are designed to bind.

It currently takes 30 to 40 minutes to analyze a protein sample, which Han believes could be shortened to minutes with further miniaturization.

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