Researchers at UCLA have devised a microfluidic device that can carry out up to 1,024 reactions at the same time. It is thought that this would benefit identification of new drug candidates by vastly accelerating the process of selection.
Previously these chip devices have only been able to carry out a few reactions known as in situ click reactions. The UCLA team have devised a way of splitting the enzyme needed for these reactions to take place allowing many more reactions to take place on one chip even as many as 1,024.
It is hoped that this technology can have an impact in both biological and medicinal study where a fast analysis of trace amounts of material are needed.
Identifying drugs for inhibiting, for instance an enzyme can mean testing hundreds if not thousands of drug candidates, which is time consuming as the drug must have a precise effect on its target to confer its desired effect. This chip would pave the way for identifying new drug candidates; in what is stated to be ‘a few hours,’ making the process of drug development far less expensive in addition to reducing the time needed for finding a suitable drug. A very handy tool for pharmaceutical companies. – CT