FEB 20, 2017 08:00 AM PST

SPR - Companion from bench to bedside

  • Professor, RWTH Aachen University
      Markus studied biology at the RWTH Aachen university and joined the group of Rainer Fischer in 1996, then at the department of botany headed by Prof. Kreuzaler where I earned my diploma in biology in 1998 and continued to work at the newly formed department of molecular biology headed by Prof. Fischer. The majority of assays developed were not kinetic assays, but rather the quantification and characterization of various quality attributes of recombinant produced proteins. For almost 20 years, Markus has been in charge of the SPR unit at the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology at the RWTH University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen. Within this environment SPR is being applied everyday in basic and applied research, from small molecules to antibodies and viruses.


    SPR technology is being improved steadily and today is an essential component in the biopharmaceutical industry. As SPR based assays extract valuable and reliable information at high accuracy and precision they also provide huge advantages and opportunities for basic and applied research. Progress in synthetic biology and scalable transient gene expression systems is rapidly expanding not only the demand but also increasing the repertoire and quality of reagents for molecular recognition studies. We use SPR assays for a huge variety of tasks within a multi-user facility and are particularly interested in using plant-based systems for the discovery, development and production of biopharmaceuticals. The practical uses and applications to plant-produced antibodies and malaria vaccine development will be illustrated.

    Focusing on protein cocktails, questions addressing their identity, composition, and potency will be discussed. SPR based assays are not only considered to be instrumental to advance such products into the clinic but will play an equally important role for studying their behavior and efficacy in patients.

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