The researchers at Scripps Research find a new way to shortcut the process of modern vaccine development. Their work appears in Science Advances, which states that they use high resolution, low-temperature electron microscopy to describe the antibodies due to the infection or vaccine promptly. It will further bind it to a target virus at an atomic level.
Swift Process by Microscopic Technique
Senior author and Professor at Scripps Research, Andrew Ward, says, The covid- 19 pandemic did bring in the need for robust vaccine development and antiviral technologies. He is hopeful that the new findings by his team will help in the process of streamlining the antibody discoveries.
Conventionally, it is tedious to identify, sort, and test the functional antibodies and fight against the virus. The process typically takes a month, says Dr. Alaksander Antanasijevic, Ph.D., Research Associate & co-author.
Further, Charles Bowman, a Scientist, assures that this new method will involve blood sample collection from the infected or immunized patient to ascertain the antibodies in just ten days.
The new method uses cryo-EM, an improved technology that applies a beam of electrons to image target and illuminate far lesser than the scale of ordinary light microscopy. In the new method, the researchers use the ‘structure to sequence’ algorithm to relate the antibody to the DNA sequence that can produce this structure.
The team confirms the accuracy of the results by making copies of the ‘monoclonal’ antibody with sequence data and confirming with cryo-EM that the antibody binds similar to the initially mapped antibody.
This method structure to sequence has immense potential in immunology says, Aleksander Antanasijevic