Exploiting CDs

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Science  12 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5639, pp. 1445
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5639.1445c

Methods for screening molecular recognition events abound in chemistry and biology, but many of them are too expensive for routine use. La Clair and Burkart developed a screening method that promises to be accessible, inexpensive, and durable. The method uses a standard recordable compact disk (CD-R), an inkjet printer, and a personal computer.

CD-Rs are made from a polycarbonate substrate, an organic dye layer, a reflective metalized layer, and a protective lacquer coating. During recording, a digital code is burned into the organic dye. CD players read this code by measuring changes in the reflection of an infrared laser. When organic molecules are printed onto the polycarbonate surface with an inkjet printer, they introduce errors in the readout. These “baseline” errors record where a given molecule has been placed. The CD is next exposed to recognition molecules. The difference between the baseline error rate and the recognition error rate reveals binding events. The method successfully measured the interactions between two proteins and several ligands and may find future applications in areas from biomedicine to environmental science. — JFU

Org. Biomol. Chem. 10.1039/b306391g (2003).

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