Separating proteins and manipulating live cells using magnetic nanoparticles

Brandeis grad students Yue Pan (Chemistry) and Marcus Long (Biochemistry), together with Professors Lizbeth Hedstrom and Bing Xu, have synthesized novel 6 nm diameter magnetic nanobeads (comparable in size to a globular protein) and used them to separate specific proteins from a cell lysate and manipulate live cells. This work has just appeared online in the journal Chemical Science.

Selectively binding glutathione-S-transferase fusion proteins using
glutathione-decorated iron oxide nanoparticles and down-stream applications

These small, magnetic beads have numerous advantages over larger traditional glutathione-modified beads, including rapid purification, and ultra low non-specific binding. Importantly, both the purified GST and the protein of interest (POI) preserve their innate properties. They also demonstrate that functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles can be used to manipulate live cells. This work  establishes design principles for decorating magnetic nanoparticles that will ultimately should lead to a general and comprehensive platform for studying biological interactions and biological systems using a magnetic force.

New for Spring 2011: BCHM 155 Biochemistry Laboratory

This Spring, the Biochemistry Department is offering a new course, BCHM 155 Biochemistry Laboratory to be taught by Prof. Emily Westover.  This lab will meet 6 hours per week and will focus on protein biochemistry.  Students will gain skills to biochemically characterize proteins, including protein purification, enzyme kinetics, and ligand binding.  For part of each module, students will design their own experiments. Students will report their work in written and oral formats.

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