Quantitative information on biomarkers is critical when certain clinical, public safety, and/or legislative decisions
are to be made. Currently existing technologies are rather complex and, as a result, expensive. These
characteristics limit availability of quantitative assessment in some situations where knowledge of biomarkers’
amounts is of vital importance. Our team have recently developed a new platform for quantitative analysis of
biomarkers: Quantitation without Calibration (QwiC). The platform addresses two major deficiencies in
¿ need for biomarker’s standard and calibration and
¿ uncertainties associated with signal magnitude variations.
QwiC relies on position of target’s response profile to get quantitative information on a target. The platform rests
upon a major innovation: a deliberate incorporation of negative cooperativity into probe-target binding
interactions. The incorporation of the mechanism allows assessing target quantity from its response profile
instead of relying on signal magnitude and calibration. In order to further advance the methodology, we will
accomplish two major goals: (i) Establish and characterize the target/probe recognition/binding model based on
negative cooperativity as a platform for quantitative analysis of oligonucleotide targets and (ii) Establish and
characterize the target-probe recognition/binding model based on negative cooperativity as a platform for
quantitative analysis of antibodies.
The development of the QwiC platform will transform an analytical measurement practice. Thus, simplification
of getting quantitative data will result in better understanding of process in living systems and beyond. Besides,
as an inexpensive, robust, and simple separation–less approach, QwiC will ultimately be a valuable asset for
point-of-care, limited resources, and/or high-throughput environments.
Furthermore, the project will enhance research environment in the Northern Illinois University by giving
opportunity to generations of undergraduate students to get hands on experience with development of new
methodologies and with a broad spectrum of modern bioanalytical techniques.