November & December 2020
January & February 2021

Online event

Webinar 'Photonics against COVID-19'

Tuesday 24 November
15:00 - 17:00

Maarten Merkx

Eindhoven University of Technology

Title: Bioluminescent immunoassays in solution: no washing, less waiting

Abstract

In recent years our group pioneered the development of bioluminescent sensor proteins that allow affinity-based detection directly in blood plasma using the camera of a smart phone as the sole piece of equipment. Unlike fluorescence, whose dependence on external illumination gives rise to autofluorescence and scattering, bioluminescence is ideally suited to measure analytes directly in complex media such as blood with minimal sample handling. In my presentation I’ll focus on the development of various bioluminescent homogenous assays that allow detection of antibodies, proteins, small molecules, and DNA/RNA. LUMABS (LUMinescent AntiBody Sensors) will be introduced as a generic and modular platform of BRET sensor proteins for antibodies detection. In addition, I’ll discuss our recent development of a generic bioluminescent sandwich immunoassay format RAPPID (RAtriometric Plug-and-Play ImmunoDiagnostics) that substantially expands the scope of molecular targets (including SARS-Cov-2 spike protein and antibodies) and present the integration of bioluminescent sensor proteins with paper- and thread-based diagnostic devices for point-of-care diagnostic applications.

Biography

Maarten Merkx studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His group combines approaches from protein engineering, chemical biology, and synthetic biology to develop biomolecular sensors and actuators for applications in intracellular imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, optogenetics, and antibody-based therapies. An important research theme is the engineering of biomolecular switches, which include fluorescent and bioluminescent sensor proteins for intracellular imaging, photo-switchable proteins, and protein- and DNA-based sensors for antibody detection and actuation. He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI, 2006) and an ERC consolidator grant in 2011. Prof. Merkx has published 125+ research papers and is associate editor for ACS Sensors.

Company description:

In recent years our group pioneered the development of bioluminescent sensor proteins that allow affinity-based detection directly in blood plasma using the camera of a smart phone as the sole piece of equipment. Unlike fluorescence, whose dependence on external illumination gives rise to autofluorescence and scattering, bioluminescence is ideally suited to measure analytes directly in complex media such as blood with minimal sample handling. In my presentation I’ll focus on the development of various bioluminescent homogenous assays that allow detection of antibodies, proteins, small molecules, and DNA/RNA. LUMABS (LUMinescent AntiBody Sensors) will be introduced as a generic and modular platform of BRET sensor proteins for antibodies detection. In addition, I’ll discuss our recent development of a generic bioluminescent sandwich immunoassay format RAPPID (RAtriometric Plug-and-Play ImmunoDiagnostics) that substantially expands the scope of molecular targets (including SARS-Cov-2 spike protein and antibodies) and present the integration of bioluminescent sensor proteins with paper- and thread-based diagnostic devices for point-of-care diagnostic applications.