• Mass spectrometry research aims for 1,000-fold improvement in pharma imaging technology
    Imaging technology used by pharma firms could be more sensitive following research based on mass spectrometry


Mass spectrometry research aims for 1,000-fold improvement in pharma imaging technology

Jul 14 2010

Research being conducted at Case Western Reserve University aims for a 1,000-fold enhancement of the mass spectrometry-based structural imaging technology used by pharma developers.

Dr Mark Chance, director of the university's school of medicine's Centre for Proteomics and Bioinformatics, explains that examining the structure of G-protein coupled receptors and similar membrane proteins is difficult.

However, pharma developers must determine how drugs are able to switch on and off those receptors if they are able to create therapeutics for diabetes, heart failure and depression.

Using mass spectrometry techniques, Dr Chance and his team succeeded in capturing a high-resolution image of the open state of a potassium channel, enabling analysis of gating mechanisms with applications in nerve signalling and heart function.

The 1,000-fold enhancement in imaging is one of the primary aims of the group led by Dr Chance, whose research focuses on the potential of structural genomics initiatives made possible by high-throughput analysis.

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