MITRE's R&D in Glycobiology
MITRE's Nanosystems Group conducts research on monolayer films coated on one side with nanoscale carbohydrates that can be used to capture human pathogens from the environment. This effort includes both laboratory experiments and reviews of scientific studies that define the specific carbohydrate structures on human tissues to which pathogen proteins bind in order to establish an infection. To support this research, MITRE built the SugarBind database, now hosted by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.
The initial motivation for this research was the expense of monitoring surface water for the presence of human pathogens. MITRE’s monolayer films, produced from natural glycoproteins and oils, are inexpensive and environmentally safe scaffolds supporting clusters of carbohydrate receptors that bind to human pathogens and facilitate their removal from the environment.
MITRE holds four patents on this technology and has refined methods of producing spherical, micrometer-scale bubbles or micelles of glycoprotein film that capture human pathogens and biotoxins and lift them to the surface of fluids where they can be collected for further examination. Our goal is to produce micelles and other film-coated tools that can be used to remove human pathogens from contaminated fluids and surfaces, including human tissue.
This research is conducted by MITRE senior scientists and student researchers through the Nanosystems Group Student Program.
Page last updated: September 20, 2011 | Top of page