Colorado State Engineering Researcher’s Work Could Speed Drug Discovery
A Colorado State University chemical and biological engineering professor has proven that miniaturized diagnostic "spot" tests (called microarray assays) used for biomedical disease and drug screening assays could rapidly increase drug discovery, protein characterization and clinical diagnoses of infectious disease if designed correctly. Although not ready for hospital or office use, microarrays represent a novel miniaturized multi-spot diagnostic format that has huge potential for patient diagnosis if found reliable and approved.
Smaller is often better, according to a new scientific study that appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Professor David Dandy, head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado State. Dr. Dandy co-wrote the paper with Dr. David Grainger, a former chemistry professor at Colorado State who now is chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah. The study was funded by a multi-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
"This is in response to the commercial sector's desire to fit more and more of these assay zones - up to hundreds of thousands of different biological tests - onto a single bioassay platform, about the size of a small napkin right now," Dandy said. "Our research uses corroboration of a theoretical model and experiments to provide definitive proof that the smaller the 'spot' available for assay, the faster and stronger the diagnostic response."
Dr. Dandy's research supports the size and density of the spot arrays printed on platforms that might be useful for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and laboratory testing. The research shows that the smallest spots effective for assays in current capture formats are 40 microns across, or half the width of a human hair. Additionally, the research indicates that smaller spots do not take as long as larger spots to reach maximum assay signal generation on surfaces. Currently, spot tests in laboratories can take as long as 96 hours to ensure necessary chemical reactions have occurred.
The research is useful particularly in cases where samples such as blood serum or saliva exist in very limited quantities and have low concentrations of infectious agents. Smaller spots do not need as much reagent volume or as much total amount of reagent to produce a signal - an improvement over current formats that had no performance criteria.
Four Business Leaders Elected to Top Positions on CSU System Board
The Colorado State University System Board of Governors has named Douglas L. Jones, president and owner of The JONES Realty Group in Denver, its chairman and Joe Blake, president and chief executive officer of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, vice chairman.
Diane Evans, vice president of the Land Title Guarantee Co., is now treasurer and Ed Haselden, president and chief executive officer of Haselden Construction LLC, secretary.
The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System governs a system comprised of Colorado State University and Colorado State University-Pueblo. The board consists of nine voting members, appointed by the Governor of Colorado and confirmed by the Colorado State Senate, and four elected non-voting members who represent faculty and students on both campuses.
"Doug's public service has always resulted in action. His business acumen and dedication have been extremely helpful as we confront the complexities facing higher education in Colorado," said Larry Edward Penley, chancellor of the Colorado State University System. "He will lead an outstanding board committed to improving the Colorado State University System. The other officers appointed today - Joe, Diane and Ed - all contribute enormously to their fields as well as to their communities and are tremendous assets to the system and higher education in the state."