One prerequisite of a good drug is that it is selective for the target protein that it has been designed for. Once a drug is selective, side-effects are less likely to be obtained. In order to study potential off-targets of a bio-active compound, one option is to attach the compound to an affinity chromatography matrix and analyze the proteins that bind to it. However, there are no commercially available affinity chromatography matrices that could be used to properly study proteins that require a cell membrane to function correctly.
In this project, the objective was to develop a microchip that can be used in affinity chromatography studies. This ambitious goal was reached using leading-edge chemistry approaches to design and synthesize novel compounds that were reacted on to the surface of microchips. These novel microchips worked excellently in reversed affinity chromatography studies. Negotiations of commercialization and further development of the microchips are under way.