Molecular Microbiology (Virology)
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
University Regensburg


Funding: BMBF VIP+
Full title: Ultrasensitive Magnetresonanz für die in vitro Biomarkerquantifizierung in Diagnostik und Therapie

Disease-related proteins and cells play a major role in biomedical research and clinical care. Although the quantitative detection of these biomarkers is becoming increasingly important, there are deficits due to the large variability and the low comparability of the results. The BMBF-funded project MR-BioQuant is intended to set the stage for the use of an innovative technology for precise and reproducible biomarker quantification with a sensitivity in the nanomolar concentration range.

The physical basis of the technology is the reversible binding of hyperpolarized xenon to a sensor biomolecule that recognizes the biomarker of interest, but can also be detected indirectly via the xenon NMR signal with a so-called saturation transfer. The particular potential of this measurement method developed at PTB (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt) is that it can deliver correct results on biological samples irrespective of variations in the sample composition or change of the measurement platform.

Exemplary biosensors are to be generated by enabling antibodies to bind xenon. With the help of these sensor molecules, selected biomarkers should be quantified using the BioQuant method. The potential superiority of the approach is to be validated by benchmarking with conventional methods. The method’s high innovative potential, especially for biomedical research tasks, will be demonstrated in applications from vaccine development.

These application examples, together with the implementation of the measurement method on different device platforms, should form the basis for an economic utilization of the BioQuant method by life science research companies and NMR device manufacturers.

Within the MR-BioQuant project, the Wagner Lab is responsible for the generation of suitable biosensor molecules derived from different viruses (recombinant viral proteins) or antibodies targeting viral proteins that enable the validation of the BioQuant method.

Project partners:
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig und Berlin (PTB) – Coordinator
Universität Regensburg, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Molekulare Mikrobiologie (Virologie) (UR-MED)
Universität Regensburg, Institut für Biophysik und Physikalische Biochemie (UR-BIO)