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Polymer-Based and Reversible Signal Amplification

ID# 2015-4389
Polymeric-based Signal Amplification

Technology Summary

The current gold standard method for immunostaining is to stain a protein with an antibody that only carries a few fluorophores. Resolution is often limited due to a number of factors, particularly low abundance of the target protein. To address this, Penn State inventors have developed a breakthrough polymer-based signal amplification technology that 1) amplifies signal intensity by at least one order of magnitude as compared to traditional protein labeling techniques, 2) is reversible, and 3) is operable under both physiological and non-physiological conditions. In this novel method, linear or branched fluorescent DNA polymers are targeted to specific cellular locations using conjugated primary antibodies. Both synthesis and reversibility of fluorescent polymer chains can be controlled at the molecular level.

Application & Market Utility

This technology is expected to be broadly applicable in the biological and biomedical sciences, with customers in both academic and commercial settings. The inventors expect the technology will have pronounced utility in applications that include small sample size or have low abundance molecular targets, including analysis of rare circulating tumor cells, forensic specimens, and prenatal testing samples. Samples of the described technology can be made available for academic research and product evaluation.

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