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Reference type: Book Chapter
Authors: Dhruv H, Turner N, Britt D
Publication date: 2007
Chapter title: Nanoscale Prion Detection Strategies.
Page numbers: 1-3.
DOI: 10.1081/E-EAFE-120042375

Book title: Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering
Editors: Heldman DR
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 978-0-8247-0938-9

Abstract: Conclusive diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) requires postmortem histopathological examination of brain tissue, with several diagnostic kits commercially available. However, diagnostics against prion diseases in live animals or humans have proven more difficult to develop. Prominent obstacles to premortem diagnostics include: i) absence of a significant host immune response to the pathogenic PrP; ii) primary localization of PrP in the brain and spinal cord, with only very low concentrations found in tissues and fluids outside the central nervous system; and iii) identical primary protein sequence of the normal and abnormal forms of prion. This unique etiology of protein conformational diseases presents distinct challenges and opportunities in diagnostics development. We briefly review here current approaches sensitive to the nanoscale protein conformational changes underlying prion pathogenesis, concluding with a preview of our ongoing work towards the development of generic protein conformational sensors using molecular imprinting to create synthetic protein receptors
Author keywords: Prion, molecular imprint polymer, Conformational imprinting, Conformational disease, protein adsorption, quartz crystal microbalance, biosensor

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