Reichert Life Sciences welcomes you to our new blog, the Surface Plasmon Resonance Insider, which is all about Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). These discussions will provide practical information on how to set up successful experiments and share updates on advances in the field of SPR technology. Our first post is an introduction to SPR.

Surface Plasmon Resonance is an optical biosensing technique that characterizes the interaction between two molecules. Specifically, SPR detects changes in refractive index occurring over the surface of a gold sensor chip. In other words, the technique is sensitive to the amount of material (i.e., mass) that is bound to the sensor chip surface. During a typical SPR experiment, a ligand is immobilized or captured on the sensor surface. Then, a solution containing the analyte is flowed over the immobilized ligand. As the analyte binds to the ligand, the sensor response is proportional to the binding-induced refractive index change, which is monitored over time. You can find more technical details about SPR here.

SPR is increasingly used in the academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology fields as a preferred method for label-free detection and analysis of protein-protein interactions. The technique’s unique utility is the ability to provide a comprehensive characterization of biomolecular interactions including the interaction affinity, kinetics (association and dissociation rate constants) and thermodynamics (enthalpy and entropy), as well as the ability to perform protein concentration analyses. SPR can be used to study interactions occurring with and between the major classes of biological macromolecules including fusion proteins, protein-DNA binding, antibodies and peptide chains, along with low molecular weight molecules or drug candidates.

We hope you enjoy this column and return regularly for future posts, which will provide in-depth discussions and support for particular aspects of SPR such as the importance of rate constants and overcoming regeneration problems. We also ask you to provide your own input and suggestions to make this column even better. Contact us if you have any questions or topics you would like to discuss.