New drug development Center Korea // Drug Repurposing

New drug development Center Korea

Kwon Sung-hoon, assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University.Kwon Sung-hoon, assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University.
​The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) announced on March 25 that a Korean research team led by Kwon Sung-hoon, assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University, successfully developed a technology to produce a high-speed, multiplexed bioassay platform. This platform will drastically reduce the time and cost needed for the development of new drugs.

Professor Kwon said, “Our research findings can contribute to advancing the local biotech industry, since a lesser amount of time and cost will be needed to search through a range of bio materials and candidate materials for new drugs.” He added, “In particular, the fact that our study was done through the convergence of various academic disciplines is significant.”

The research findings were in the March 17 issue of Nature Communications, a bi-monthly scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group. The abstract reads: "One quantitative liquid handling method in conventional assay processes is pipetting, which delivers a precise volume of one sample at a time. As this process becomes laborious and time-consuming as the number of samples increases, researchers in individual laboratories need a way to conduct large-scale assays in a reasonable amount of time and at an affordable cost. Here we report a novel handling technique of chemical substances termed ‘partipetting’, which allows the one-step pipetting of various chemical-laden hydrogels. We pipette and assemble various types of encoded chemical-laden microparticles in microwell arrays in parallel. The combination of this heterogeneous particle chip and a cell chip induces the release of the chemicals from the hydrogels and, eventually, the chemicals treat the targets. Based on bioassay applications using partipetting, we show its capability in large-scale bioassays, without the need for high-throughput bioassay resources, owing to a reduction in the assay costs and time.

By storing a large selection of chemicals ahead of time in hydrogel matrices with locking codes, the process of adding specific chemicals to specific microwell arrays is greatly reduced. The hydrogel matrices remain sealed until unlocked chemically.

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