Stabilized Vesicle-Functionalized Microparticles for Chemical Separations

Case ID:

This invention relates to bioassay platforms, in particular, pull-down assay platforms using silica core-polymerized phospholipid vesicle shell particles for peptide/protein ligand screening.

Many physiological or pathological events involve the molecular recognition and binding between a peptide/protein ligand and a specific target on the cell membrane. Certain ligand-receptor binding events trigger corresponding cellular responses, such as enzyme activity and gene expression. Nowadays, screening of peptide/protein ligands that bind to targets on cell membranes is an important process in drug discovery. There is a need for rapid and highly specific assay platforms for identifying novel ligand receptor interactions while minimizing crosstalk and non-specific binding. To address this need this technology provides a novel microparticle architecture that utilizes stabilized vesicle-functionalized microparticles for separations.


  • The stabilized vesicles can subsequently be functionalized with either transmembrane receptors or membrane associated receptors
  • Affinity pull-down assays
  • Other chromatographic separation modalities to provide affinity capture/concentration of low abundance ligands in complex mixtures with minimal sample preparation
  • Electrochemical detection or optical spectroscopy when coupled directly with both electrospray ionization and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry  
  • New families of inexpensive, functional materials for the use in nanomaterial sciences
  • Discovery and identification of unknown ligand/receptor pairs with minimal sample preparation


  • A rapid and highly specific assay platform 
  • Identifies novel ligand-receptor interactions
  • Minimizes crosstalk and non-specific binding
  • Relies upon interactions existing in nature rather than complex and time consuming synthesis and selection of antibodies
  • Potential to reduce interference from complicated signaling events in cell-based functional assays
  • Identifies an unknown ligand from a ligand mixture
  • Provides quantitative analysis of the binding complement due to the stability of the polymeric phospholipid vesicles
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Craig Aspinwall
Jinyan Wang
Kendall Sandy
Steven Scott Saavedra
Boying Liang
Christopher Baker
Elyssia Gallagher