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December 16, 2002
Volume 80, Number 50
CENEAR 80 50 pp. 39-40
ISSN 0009-2347



This was the year of the first carbohydrate microarrays--devices used to study carbohydrate recognition for drug discovery, biodefense, and other applications. Four types were designed and constructed:

  • Polysaccharide and glycoconjugate microarrays, by Denong Wang's group at Columbia University's Genome Center [Nat. Biotechnol., 20, 275 (2002); C&EN, March 11, page 40].
  • Monosaccharide chips, by Milan Mrksich and coworkers at the University of Chicago [Chem. Biol., 9, 443 (2002)].
  • Natural and synthetic oligosaccharide arrays, by Ten Feizi's group at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, Harrow, U.K. [Nat. Biotechnol., 20, 1011 (2002)].
  • Synthetic oligosaccharides in microtiter plate format, by Chi-Huey Wong of Scripps and coworkers [Chem. Biol., 9, 713 (2002); J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 14397 (2002)].

Laura L. Kiessling's group at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reported on sets of multivalent carbohydrate ligands that control the amount of antibody production by immune-system cells and control migration of bacteria along a chemical or nutrient gradient [Nature, 415, 81 (2002); C&EN, Jan. 21, page 40].

Antibacterial treatments for carbohydrate-containing surfaces were developed by Robert Engel of Queens College of the City University of New York; JaimeLee I. Cohen of Pace University, New York City; Karin Melkonian of Long Island University's C. W. Post Campus; and coworkers [Carbohydr. Res., published online Oct. 8, ; C&EN, June 10, page 36]. Potential applications include antibacterial clothing and wound dressings.

And Robert D. Rosenberg and coworkers at MIT used a high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) technique to analyze heparin and heparan sulfate oligosaccharides three to four times larger than were previously accessible [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 8707 (2002); C&EN, July 8, page 7]. Heparins and heparan sulfates are commercial anticoagulants.


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