Stabilized, Uniform Coatings of Polymer Nanoparticles

Technology #ua09-033

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Tomika r. c. Velarde
John Lemon
Graduate Associate, Research, Chemistry
Michael Rice
Mary Wirth
W. Brooks Fortune Professor, Chemistry
Managed By
Laura Silva

Introduction: The hunt for new biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of diseases continues in hoped of identifying novel reliable markers for each respective disease or ill condition. Current approaches suffer from in consistent specificity and average sensitivity. With the emergence of proteomic techniques such as protein microarrays to study disease pathophysiology. Protein microarrays facilitate an unbiased proteome-wide approach that entails quick and simultaneous analysis of thousands of proteins in high-throughput. This approach has rejuvenated the biomarker field and there is now high optimism for identifying new reliable biomarkers by way of large scale testing of biological samples. The inventors are particularly interested in finding novel and consistent cancer biomarkers.

Invention: The inventors developed a technology that can be best described as a process where polymeric nanoparticles are deposited onto a substrate by multiple coatings to give a uniform film. This process entails brief heating sessions in between coats, for extreme stabilization without loss of the nanoparticle’s pore structure. This technology can be directly applied to making ELISA plates and microscope slides for DNA and protein microarrays. Once the slides are functionalized, one can bind probes such as antibodies, aptamers or DNA to the surface and use to probe biological samples for novel biomarkers.


Advantages: With speed and sensitivity being two of the limiting factors in regards to bio-analyses today, this technology aims to remedy those issues while discovering novel biomarkers. The advantages in using nanoparticle coats is an increased signal output for lower expression rate genes, and higher sensitivity for lower abundance proteins. These capabilities are largely due to the nanoparticles having higher sensitivity then current technologies.


Status:  The proposed technology has potential to contribute to the growth of the biomarker and molecular diagnostic markets. The success of these markets hinges upon the ability to detect potential biomarkers related to particular conditions or disease states with great accuracy and sensitivity. The inventors’ goal is to improve protein microarray slides that will detect biomarkers of low abundance in any sample. Recently, the inventors have developed and tested their prototype microarray slide. This invention is held by the University of Arizona and the inventors seek development partners to help diversify the technology, i.e. developing several versions of these microarray slides consisting of different nanoparticle types, sizes, and tablet variations. Interested partners should contact the University of Arizona for additional information.


Keywords:  Nanoparticles, substrate coating, stabilization, biomarkers


Lead Inventor: Mary J. Wirth


UA ID: UA09-033

Licensing Manager:

Laura Silva

(520) 626-1557