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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S84347/01
Title: Gel-free Proteomics: High-Throughput Microfluidic Shotgun Analysis for Organisms
Principal Investigator: Wright, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Hornby, Professor DPJ Allen, Professor R McArthur, Professor SL
Styring, Professor P Zimmerman, Professor W Routh, Dr A
Dickman, Professor M MacInnes, Dr JM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Epigem Ltd
Department: Chemical & Biological Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2004 Ends: 30 September 2008 Value (£): 1,355,811
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Bioprocess Engineering
Fluid Dynamics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
It is especially important to examine the protein complement of the organism (known as the proteome), as the observed physical health and behaviour of an organism, as determined by the interaction of its genome and the environment, is directly due to the proteins, rather than the genome. To achieve this proteomic analysis rapidly, we aim to develop a step-change high-throughput (HT) technique using gel-free microfluidics for separating the proteomes of complex organisms, particularly humans (currently being analysed by conventional proteomics in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department at Sheffield) followed by subsequent identification and quantification by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS). The major advantages of the proposed technique are (1) tight control to resolve proteins through temporal separation to process an order of magnitude more proteins than conventional 2-dimensional gels, (2) to use organic solvation to process membrane proteins which are discarded in the 2-dimensional gel approach, and (3) to use interfacial/surface modifications to capture low copy number proteins accurately. Through this process we will be able to rapidly quantitatively examine large complex proteomes (containing potentially 1000s of proteins). Thus we will especially tailor this technique to examine proteins normally missed in conventional analyses such as those only present in low quantities (low abundance) and membrane proteins which are difficult to resolve in gel systems. Furthermore, through this technology, we will achieve orders of magnitude improvement in throughput.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk