Having attended Drug Discovery ’15 as a new company in the Innovation Zone, MIP Diagnostics is returning to ELRIG Drug Discovery in Liverpool this October 13-14th. The 2015 conference was the first outing for the Leicester based spin out, bringing their novel nanoMIPs (or “plastic antibody”) technology to the market.

Adrian Kinkaid, CEO of MIP Diagnostics (www.mip-dx.com), has been a long term supporter of ELRIG and especially the Drug Discovery series. “The DD meetings are among the best conferences of their type in the world. They always attract top level scientific presentations and are an excellent meeting place for our industries to network. No other meeting comes close, especially not if you consider that attendance is free for delegates. We are very pleased to be returning to the meeting, this time in Liverpool, and look forward to meeting old friends and new delegates alike, to raise awareness of our company and technology.”

MIP Diagnostics is among the newer companies to be found in the Innovation Zone created by ELRIG specifically to promote selected new companies with exciting new technologies. The MIP Diagnostics platform is typical of the kind of new vendors ELRIG wants to promote.

“NanoMIPs, or nanostructured molecularly printed polymers, are made by self-assembly of monomers around the target, or template molecule, followed by a polymerisation process”, explains Francesco Canfarotta, Lead Scientist at MIP Diagnostics. “The positioning of each monomer interacting with the target is therefore simultaneously optimised as each intramolecular interaction tends to its energy minima. This is achieved without any constraints of a pre-existing scaffold other than the target molecule itself: ensuring an optimal fit and complementarity between the target and the resultant nanoMIPs.” Some very elegant chemistry allows the MIP Diagnostics team to control the extent of polymerisation, which in turn allows nanoMIPs to be produced to match the required specification in terms of affinity and selectivity. “We also have the ability to functionalise the nanoMIPs in a wide variety of ways: adding fluorophores, attachment points such as biotin or chemically reactive entities”, adds Dr. Canfarotta.

Once made, nanoMIPs are among the most robust affinity reagents available. As monomers are connected by a polyethylene linkage, they are not biodegradable and can also withstand extreme conditions such as washing with pH1 acids and exposure to organic solvents. MIPs have even been autoclaved and still shown to exhibit high affinity for their targets. There are clearly several potential applications for the nanoMIPs technology, for instance as affinity materials in sensors and assays, and as imaging or drug delivery agents. NanoMIPs can also be used to extract the target molecule from a complex mixture or to suppress the presence of a given analyte which may interfere with the analysis. Indeed, their potential was recognised in the Dragons’ Den at DD’15, which MIP Diagnostics won.

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