Light-Assisted Drying (LAD) is a novel biopreservation technique which allows proteins to be immobilized in a dry, amorphous solid at room temperature. Indicator proteins are used in a variety of diagnostic assays ranging from highthroughput 96-well plates to new microfluidic devices. A challenge in the development of protein-based assays is preserving the structure of the protein during production and storage of the assay, as the structure of the protein is responsible for its functional activity. Freeze-drying or freezing are currently the standard for the preservation of proteins, but these methods are expensive and can be challenging in some environments due to a lack of available infrastructure. An inexpensive, simple processing method that enables supra-zero temperature storage of proteins used in assays is needed. Light-assisted drying offers a relatively inexpensive method for drying samples. Proteins suspended in a trehalose solution are dehydrated using near-infrared laser light. The laser radiation speeds drying and as water is removed the sugar forms a protective matrix. The goal of this study is optically characterize samples processed with LAD. We use polarized light imaging (PLI) to look at crystallization kinetics of samples and determine optimal humidity. PLI shows a 62.5% chance of crystallization during LAD processing and negligible crystallization during low RH storage.
Madison A. Young, Madison E. McKinnon, Gloria D. Elliott, and Susan R. Trammell, "Light assisted drying (LAD) for protein stabilization: optical characterization of samples," Proc. SPIE 10485, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings IV, 104850W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 13 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290415.
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