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Partner Research Corner

Grace Bio-Lab Partnerships


Enabling Cell-based Assays and Translation to Personalized Medicine


Cell-based assays have expanded in use, and reduced in sample requirements over the past decade, driven by technologies that have improved the culture and monitoring of cell functions on a miniature scale. One of our partners, Microstem Inc., based in San Diego, CA, is an example of an early stage reagent development company that approached Grace Bio-Labs for technical solutions to supply their system for cell-based assays. The MicroMatrix(tm) system from Microstem consists of an array of various extracellular matrices printed onto a hydrogel-coated microscope slide. The system enables parallel culture of cells in the presence of hundreds to thousands of fully defined extracellular matrices in order to determine the precise cellular microenvironment that affects cell behavior and functions, including adhesion, proliferation and differentiation.

“The advantage of our system is the use of defined human matrices in a miniaturized platform, which allows researchers to study a variety of cellular microenvironments in parallel with high reproducibility. This platform is particularly useful when conducting studies using primary cells, such as stem cell and tumor cells” says Marie Zhang, COO at Microstem. “Many of the matrices provided by other vendors are derived from complex biological material which can vary from lot-to-lot and frequently is not xeno-free,” explains Marie.

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Grace Research Corner

Sensitive Detection of Total Protein on Reverse Phase Protein Array using Fast Green

Presented by: Michael A. Shultz, PhD


Fast Green Protein Quantification on ONCYTE® Film Slides with near IR detection using ArrayCAM.


Grace Bio-Labs is developing a near-infrared microarray imager (ArrayCAM, 405nm/800nm) designed for optimal detection on porous nitrocellulose film slides, as discussed in our previous blog article. Using the accompanying method and ArrayCAM, we show sensitive Fast Green protein quantitation down to approximately 8 pg protein per spot on ONCYTE®AVID Porous Nitrocellulose film slides (Fig. 1A and 1B, see attachment for method). As with many protein stains, it should be noted that the degree of staining is dependent on the chemical makeup of individual proteins, as observed in the lower IgG staining compared to Lysozyme and BSA. The results of this are inconsequential for RPPAs where staining of a wide population of proteins from whole cell/tissue lysates would not likely be influenced by differences in individual protein staining.

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