Wyatt Technology

ILSC Plenary: Colloidal Aggregation in Drug Discovery & Pharmacology


Presented Live: November 4, 2015 at the 24th International Light Scattering Colloquium, Santa Barbara, CA

Speaker: Professor Brian Shoichet, University of California San Francisco

At micromolar and sub-micromolar concentrations, many drug-like organic molecules aggregate into colloids in aqueous media. These colloidal aggregates sequester protein targets without specificity, inhibiting or occasionally even activating them—they are the single greatest source of artifact in early drug discovery.  The colloidal species are about 200 nm in radius, and a major way to detect and characterize them is by dynamic light scattering.  I will summarize the range of molecules that can aggregate, the range of assays in which they do so, including membrane-bound receptor and cell-culture assays, and the mechanism by which these colloidal aggregates act to sequester protein.  Recent research on their effects on drug distribution in vivo will be considered, as will efforts to formulate them to actually optimize for drug and protein delivery.




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Wyatt Technology is the recognized leader in light scattering instrumentation and software for determining the absolute molar mass, size, charge and interactions of macromolecules and nanoparticles in solution.

Wyatt's line of multi-angle static light scattering products couple to size exclusion chromatography (SEC-MALS), field-flow fractionation (FFF-MALS), and stop-flow composition-gradient systems (CG-MALS). Our dynamic light scattering (DLS) products operate in traditional cuvette as well as on-line and automated, high-throughput modes. We also offer unique instruments for electrophoretic light scattering (MP-PALS), differential refractometry, and differential viscosity.

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