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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Monitoring Intracellular Calcium in Response to GPCR Activation Using Microfluidic Assays

Monitoring Intracellular Calcium in Response to GPCR Activation Using Microfluidic Assays | iBB | Scoop.it

Microfluidic strategies combined with transduction and electronic integration have the promise of enabling miniaturized, combinatorial assays at higher speeds and lower costs, while at the same time mimicking the local chemical concentrations and force fields of the cellular in vivo environment. In A chapter just published in the book "G Protein-Coupled Receptor Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols", researchers from BERG-iBB and INESC-MN introduce a microfluidic structure with hydrodynamic cell traps and a culture volume in the nanoliter range (50 nL), to quantitatively evaluate the transient calcium response of the endogenous Muscarinic type 1 receptor (M1) in HEK 293 T cells. The microfluidic fabrication protocol is described as well as a methodology to monitor the cell response in real time, after stimulation with M1 agonists (e.g., carbachol) and antagonists (e.g., Pirenzepin).

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Magnomics Starts Operations

Magnomics Starts Operations | iBB | Scoop.it

Former iBB researchers Sofia Martins (PhD Biotechnology, IST 2008) and Verónica Romão (PhD Biotechnology, IST 2009) are currently leading the biological research at Magnomics, a biotech start-up committed to creating the new generation of molecular diagnostic devices, with applications in human health, veterinary health, and in the food industry. Sofia and Verónica partnered with Filipe Cardoso (INESC-MN), José Germano (INESC-ID) and João Miguel Pereira (UCoimbra) and launched Magnomics in 2013. After winning second place in INOVPORTUGAL 2014 (over 14000 participants) and having secured funding from Portugal Ventures, Beta Capital and PNV Capital, the company has just started operations in facilities located at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Magnomics core product is a fully portable, easy to use diagnostic device which includes sample treatment (bacteria separation and DNA purification), DNA amplification, and magnetic detection. The technology is protected by a growing pool of international patents and is currently being prototyped. The initial market tests are predicted for late 2015.

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GPCR Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols

GPCR Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols | iBB | Scoop.it

The book G Protein-Coupled Receptor Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols, edited by Sofia Martins from INESC-MN and Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB, has just been published. This fully updated edition targets not only those assays directly involved in the discovery of GPCR-active compounds but also those involved in cell-based experiments designed to study physiological responses. Whether coming from academia or industry, or being an experienced researcher or a newcomer to the field, the reader will find accessible methods and protocols that cover the latest developments on receptor purification, molecular biology, recombinant engineering, and analytical techniques that enable the real time monitoring of the complex GPCR signaling cascade and identification of potential drug targets. Written for the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

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