Research Line of Protein Engineering

Bioluminescent sensors for point-of-care diagnostics

A second line of research is the development of sensor proteins for point-of-care diagnostics. 

Using the same modular engineering principles used in the development of FRET sensors  for intracellular imaging, bioluminescent sensor proteins are developed that allow direct detection of antibodies and other biomarkers directly in complex matrices such as blood. Applications of this technology are explored in therapeutic drug monitoring and other areas where there is a need for simple, low-cost detection technology.

Key words

Protein engineering, diagnostic assays, biosensors, infectious diseases, directed evolution, therapeutic antibodies, therapeutic drug monitoring

Key publications

  • van Rosmalen, M., Janssen, B.M.G., Hendrikse, N., van der Linden, A.J., Pieters, P.A., Wanders, D., de Greef, T.F.A. & Merkx, M. (2017). Affinity maturation of a cyclic peptide handle for therapeutic antibodies using deep mutational scanning. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292, 1477-1489.
  • R. Arts, I. den Hartog, S. Zijlema, V. Thijssen, S. v.d. Beelen, M. Merkx Detection of antibodies in blood plasma using bioluminescent sensor proteins and a smartphone Anal. Chem.(2016)88,4525-4531
  • Banala, S.S., Aper, S.J.A., Schalk, W. & Merkx, M. (2013). Switchable reporter enzymes based on mutually exclusive domain interactions allow antibody detection directly in solution. ACS Chemical Biology, 8(10), 2127-2132

Working on this topic

  • Ir. Remco Arts
  • Drs. Martijn van Rosmalen