Biomarker detection

e2v biosensors and AbD Serotec have launched a research programme to establish e2v’s proprietary biosensor system Visucare.

e2v biosensors and AbD Serotec have launched a research programme to establish e2v’s proprietary biosensor system Visucare, a novel detection technology for biomarkers using a single-antibody immunoassay.

The Visucare system will be used for protein quantification in point-of-care and near patient testing.

e2v biosensors and AbD Serotec began an initial project in September 2006, bringing together e2v’s novel platform technology and AbD’s recombinant antibody technology, HuCAL. AbD Serotec has since generated a series of modified recombinant antibodies suitable for e2v to perform feasibility studies showing proof of concept of the Visucare approach.

The core of the e2v technology is Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (SERRS), an electromagnetic surface-sensitive technique, which provides for the detection of single molecules binding to a silver surface. The key biomolecular construct of Visucare comprises three main components: a HuCAL-based antibody (which is immobilised on a silver surface), a reporter SERRS dye linked to peptide and a silver surface supporting the electromagnetic field.

The SERRS dye peptide is bound to the HuCAL antibody and held outside the electromagnetic field. In the presence of a protein biomarker the SERRS dye peptide is displaced, allowing it to bind directly to the silver surface within the electromagnetic field and ultimately giving rise to the SERRS signal.

e2v claims that unlike existing technologies, Visucare does not need an antibody pair to detect the respective biomarker. Instead it uses a single antibody in a displacement format and does not require any washing or incubation steps, enabling a simple-to-use system with results in under 10 minutes. Additionally, the system allows the monitoring of biomarkers inaccessible to other systems and at very low levels of detection.

e2v biosensors has secured substantial intellectual property through two issued, and a further 11 pending, patent families.

Dr Paul Rodgers, chief executive officer of e2v biosensors, said: ‘The Visucare system offers several unique advantages over other systems available for biomarker point-of-care analysis, with its multiplex capability, high sensitivity and high specificity. We are currently developing a cardiac point-of-care panel, as well as other unique biomarker applications.

‘AbD Serotec’s ability to provide highly selective recombinant antibodies capable of binding both protein and derived peptides and genetically engineered to display surface-binding activity has been crucial for establishing the system.

‘We are now looking for a strategic partner to fully exploit the commercial potential of the Visucare approach in a broad range of point of care and pathology applications.’