What is it about?

You probably know someone with a food allergy. Its incidence is around 1% and rising, especially in children. Measurement of a certain type of antibodies (IgEs) in blood serum is among the diagnostic tests that are currently used to determine if a patient is allergic to a given food or not. The current format of the analysis gives incomplete information, however. Our team is working to develop a new method for separating the antibodies based on specific components of the allergen. This paper reports on a key advancement in that project where a peptide and a carbohydrate present in peanut proteins is used to quantify the antibodies in patient serum samples.

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Why is it important?

A detector that separates all the IgEs in serum based on what those antibodies bind to will be value for helping doctors diagnose patients with a specific food allergy. Additionally, it will provide a valuable tool to immunologists for piecing together the fundamental aspects of how these allergies arise.


This paper is the product of a fun collaboration that has developed between two of my colleagues and me. Coincidentally (or not), the three of us - Jim, Vijay and me - have adjoining offices in the faculty office wing of our department. We're jointly advising Amit, the first author of the paper, as he tackles the technical challenges associated with the development of the SPRi based detector for serum IgEs. The project joins our collective interests in intermolecular associations and the development of new instrumentation for detection of those associations.

Professor Mark W Peczuh
University of Connecticut

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ultrasensitive carbohydrate-peptide SPR imaging microarray for diagnosing IgE mediated peanut allergy, The Analyst, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry,
DOI: 10.1039/c4an01544d.
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