Combinatorial protein recognition as an alternative approach to antibody-mimetics

David Margulies, Andrew D. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Current approaches to medical diagnostics and drug design are largely based on the ability of monoclonal antibodies or synthetic molecules to bind proteins with high affinity and selectivity. In recent years, however, an alternative approach to protein recognition has emerged, in which proteins are identified using non-specific receptor arrays that are inspired by the olfactory neural system. An ultimate challenge for such systems is realizing a single, high-throughput analytical device that can effectively diagnose a range of medicinally relevant proteins. Such devices might overcome the difficulties associated with designing potent synthetic receptors for proteins and hence, could open up new possibilities in medical diagnostics, pathogen detection, and proteomics. Here we summarize recent developments in this area and also highlight its limitations and the challenges that this exciting interdisciplinary field faces. In particular, the goal of this review is to underscore the basic parameters required for obtaining combinatorial sensors for proteins and more importantly, to elucidate the rational methodologies that can be applied for systematically improving these promising analytical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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