Researchers of LNBE have patented a new method for synthesis of polymer microbeads containing imaging tags for bioanalytical studies and medical diagnostics

Researchers of LNBE together with their colleagues from the Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences have invented and patented a method for fabrication of polymer microbeads (Generalova, A.N., Sizova, S.V., Manokhina, V.V., Mochalov K.E., Oleinikov, V.A., Nabiev, I.R. A method for the formation of multifunctional nanosystems. RF Patent no. 2532559).

The new method makes it possible to obtain microbeads of a desired size with high biological, chemical, and colloidal stabilities in biological fluids and unify the procedure for embedding them with imaging agents. Monodisperse suspensions of these beads, conjugated with capture molecules (antibodies, enzymes, etc.), can be used in various bioanalytical studies, in particular, for detecting biomarkers of diseases in biological fluids.

Beads of a given size (from 0.15 to 0.8 μm) are obtained by means of copolymerization of acrolein and styrene, the resultant core being coated with layers of positively and negatively charged polyelectrolytes; it is these layers that ensure the high colloidal stability. The surface layers are embedded with capture molecules and the agents for visualization of the beads that have bound the target.

These may be fluorescent agents (quantum dots or organic dyes) or magnetic nanoparticles. Different types of agents can be used simultaneously to obtain, e.g., fluorescent-and-magnetic beads. Furthermore, the microbeads obtained by the new method fluoresce much more intensely than other probes of this type.

All this allows highly sensitive, specific probes to be engineered that could be widely used in various biological studies and in medicine.


Vladimir A. Oleinikov, PhD, DSc, leader of the Biophysics Group (

Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI
(Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

31 Kashirskoe shosse, 115409 Moscow, Russian Federation

© 2012 Laboratory of Nano-BioEngineering