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Center of Excellence for Inflammation, Infectious Disease & Immunity

Quillen College of Medicine

Center News

CIIDI Purchases New ForteBio Octet Assay System

Drs. Chuanfu Li and David Williams, members of both the Department of Surgery and the CIIDI, have acquired a ForteBio Octet K2 Assay System through supplemental equipment funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health.

 This new system will replace the aging BIAcore 2000 system currently housed in the Department of Surgery. Drs. Li and Williams stated, [the] new ForteBio Octet system represents a significant advancement in available technology to CIIDI members and the College of Medicine community as a whole.

The ForteBio Octet Assay System is a platform for examining molecular interactions and binding kinetics. Studying these processes and the resulting interactions help scientists better understand a variety of real-world biological processes.

Areas of interest that can be investigated include antibody and antibody fragment characterization, protein-protein and protein-peptide interactions, protein DNA/RNA interactions, and virus and vaccine research. Each of these processes begin with a biological mechanism that can be observed through cellular and receptor/ligand interactions using the Fortebio System.

The Fortebio Octet Assay System uses a bio-layer interferometry technology to measure biological interactions. Using advanced optics,the system analyzes the interference of white light reflected through proteins held on the biosensor tip vs. a control tip. Any difference between the two is measured in real-time. This allows for quick results and easilyrepeated experimental runs.


Bridget Graves


The Fortebio is designed to work as an open-format instrument. Researchers are able to use a variety of biosensors with different functions. This flexibility offers several advantages over the surface plasmon resonance technology in our current BIAcore 2000. The Fortebio allows for a large variety of experiments to be run using a single instrument with quick changeover between sensors and samples. The ability to use a variety of sensors allows for flexibility in the type of samples analyzed. Lower levels of sample refinement are also needed compared in other similar molecular interaction measurement systems. The bio-layer interferometry technology was pioneered by Fortebio and is considered one of the best methods currently available.

The purchase of the Fortebio system represents a major step and first major purchase in the development of the CIIDI Instrumentation Core. This Core will better help scientists associated with the Center access state-of-the-art tools and scientific instrumentation for advanced research. The Center is also continuing to investigate approaches for making state-of-the-art instruments, like the Fortebio system, available university wide to better grow and foster ETSU's research community.

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