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Project



Background
PEPMIP is a collaboration project funded by the European Commission involving eleven European partner institutions within Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the UK which concentrates on creating robust materials for applications in proteomics and diagnostics, with particular focus on artificial receptors developed by various molecular imprinting techniques.


Objectives
The research objective of the PEPMIP project is the development of the next generation of dedicated separation materials, designed to recognize peptides and proteins, and the implementation of these materials in new high-performance methods for peptide and protein analysis. Artificial receptors will be developed by various molecular imprinting techniques. This will be supplemented by a new class of generic peptide and protein fractionation tools that will be integrated in new formats to produce new protein/peptide separation and detection solutions. The research results will lead to technological advances having a major impact on
• health care since it will profit from methods involving PEPMIPs for earlier, more reliable diagnosis of diseases,
• drug discovery allowing a faster target or biomarker identification; and
• biochemistry research laboratories resulting in improved protein fractionation tools for revealing low abundant post translational modifications.


Approach
The PEPMIP research will take place at the intersection of organic chemistry, polymer/materials, chemistry and analytical chemistry, and in the engineering discipline of nano- and micro-fabrication.
The project also has a strong emphasis on training focused on 10 early-stage researchers (ESRs) who, within four work packages, will develop a well-balanced spectrum of scientific, business and entrepreneurial skills that will be particularly attractive to European industry when the ESRs eventually leave PEPMIP. The presence of members from both the public and private sector in this board warrants that the training program will have the desired relevance and industrial appeal.


Impact
The impact derived from these breakthroughs in separation- and affinity-based technologies is based on developing and implementing robust mass producible nanostructured materials which can replace and improve the existing costly and labile biologically-derived affinity reagents (e.g. antibodies or antibody fragments, receptors or aptamers), but also offer previously unforeseen applications in the health care sector.
End-user-driven work packages with a defined impetus to solve urgent health problems (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, small-cell lung cancer) have been combined with technology-driven tasks (e.g. microarrays, on-line SPE, magnetic nanobeads), all in all creating a structured work plan engaging 9 academic partners, 2 SMEs and 1 industrial company in a defined relationship.