PROJECT SUMMARY / ABSTRACT
The proposed S10 project entitled “Octet R8 System for Molecular Interaction Studies in Infectious and
Non-infectious Diseases” is to respond to PAR-21-125 Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program. The
mission of the Analytical Instrumentation Core (AIC) at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University
(BU) is to provide support and training to investigators through cutting-edge analytical instruments and services
to facilitate research and education. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the understanding of the
pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of a diverse range of human diseases. The AIC meets this goal by
providing access to modern, sophisticated high-priced instruments that are necessary to advancing the
research of multiple biomedical investigators. These instruments are typically cost-prohibitive for individual
scientists to purchase, operate, and maintain. Based on feedback from our investigators, having highly
sensitive approaches for identifying and quantifying intramolecular interactions between antibodies, receptors,
peptides, small molecules, and viruses have consistently been reported as an AIC service of the greatest
need. This is especially relevant because many groups have started more translational projects over the past
several years (particularly because of the current pandemic) and require the ability to quantitatively detect
binding between novel targets and therapeutics. This desire from multiple investigators has led us to explore
the possibility of purchasing a Sartorius 8-channel Octet biolayer interferometry (BLI) R8 system. Industry-
leading BLI analytical instruments precisely and accurately monitor binding between two different molecules in
real-time. The Octet R8 will provide investigators a highly sensitive and reliable way to conduct binding assays,
to quantify proteins, antibodies, peptides and small molecules, and to directly monitor the kinetics of binding
events and interactions between biomolecules from in-vitro and ex-vivo studies. The AIC provides services to
more than 150 investigators/labs, and has over 10 NIH funded projects that would directly utilize the Octet R8.
Presence of BLI services will allow researchers to perform their projects with greater precision and sensitivity.
We propose that the Octet-R8 will be housed at the AIC, which is located on the BU Medical Campus.
However, it will still be equally accessible to investigators across the entire research community. This will be
highly beneficial because the AIC has extensive experience and a magnificent record of accomplishment
regarding instrument maintenance and training users. The instrument will be assured to be in excellent working
condition, thus minimizing any potential down time. The institution will provide substantial financial support and
there is also an advisory committee to assist with biosafety needs, publications, and annual progress reports.
Investment in this equipment will allow our investigators to conduct studies of high significance for basic,
translational and clinical research into infectious diseases, vaccine development, diabetes, heart disease,
obesity, kidney disease, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and drug development.