Protein structural analysis is an essential component of developing biotherapeutics. While numerous technologies are used for protein analysis, companies such as RedShiftBio are innovating and building upon techniques such as IR spectroscopy to make protein analysis more simple, cost effective and user friendly.
Modern technologies, such as cryo-electron microscopy and neutron scattering (also known as neutron diffraction and neutron crystallography), have surfaced as techniques to analyze protein structure, and traditionally, methods such as x-ray crystallography and NMR have also been employed. However, these modern techniques can be extremely costly, and traditional techniques tend to be time consuming and not without their limitations; for example, it may be difficult to obtain high-quality protein samples using x-ray crystallography, while NMR generally focuses on isolated proteins as opposed to protein complexes.
Molecular spectroscopy techniques such as IR and FTIR spectroscopy are alternative methods for the analysis of protein structure. It is easier to obtain high-quality spectra using IR methods due to the small amount of protein sample required. Also, it can be used for analyzing a wide range of protein samples (both small soluble and large membrane proteins), making it more cost effective and efficient. Building upon this method, RedShiftBio, a Massachusetts-based provider of analytical instruments for protein analysis, recently introduced a new protein analysis platform featuring the unlikely coupling of IR spectroscopy and microfluidics.