The Project – University of Copenhagen

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hiPAD under the 7. Framework programme

hiPAD was created in response to the September 2011 Health Call under 7th Framework Programme.

The specific call text:

Research should focus on the development and improvement of high throughput research tools and technologies. The proposed activities should also take into account quality control aspects as appropriate. Note: Limits on the EU financial contribution apply. These are implemented strictly as formal eligibility criteria.

Response to the call:

Proteins are extremely malleable building blocks of life involved in all aspects of biology. Many diseases are caused by proteins aberrations, and proteins are frequent targets of intervention. Mapping all proteins and their functions are expected to yield pervasive medical and biotechnological benefits. However, even the most comprehensive and high-throughput proteins discovery technologies are seriously challenged by the extreme diversity and low abundance of many proteome components; a problem, compounded by the lack of affinity reagents and validated probes for sample preparation and identification.

Our concept is that shorter protein fragments, or peptides, may offer solutions to many of these problems as peptides may represent or mimic proteins. Using in situ solid-phase peptide synthesis, computerized photolithography and novel photochemistry, we have recently generated peptide microarrays of up to 2 million addressable peptides. This unprecedented high-density and high-content peptide microarray technology could make inroads into the kind of high-throughput analysis needed to address the entire human proteome. Here, we aim to exploit this potential by using and improving three different, yet complementary, label-free detection technologies allowing sensitive, high-resolution determinations of the identity, quality and/or modification of individual members of a peptide microarray, and real-time monitoring of any interacting molecular receptor. We will also develop peptides as rapid, specific, and renewable affinity reagents for complex sample preparation, and develop peptides as probes and complex biosensors.

Three SME’s constitute the backbone of this collaboration, receiving 50% of the budget, and enjoying significant opportunities from the booming protein/peptide microarray market. Furthermore, solutions to these unmet needs of proteomics are believed to have incalculable benefits for European health, innovativeness and competiveness. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the project was broken down in to nine work packages.

Work Package details:

  • WP1 "Development and synthesis of peptide microarrays"
  • WP2 "Label-free SPRi detection of peptide microarrays"
  • WP3 "Label-free IMS of peptide microarrays"
  • WP4 "Label-free MOSFET detection of peptide microarrays"
  • WP5 "Developing surface chemistries and nanostructures"
  • WP6 "Bioinformatics analysis and design of peptide microarrays"
  • WP7 "Peptide microarray-driven analyte analysis"
  • WP8 "Management"