Backscattering interferometry (BSI) is an emerging analytical technique that detects changes in refractive index on the order of 10-7 RI units based on the binding interactions of two species. BSI has been successfully employed in examining a wide range of interacting systems in aqueous and non-aqueous solvents. In the present study, BSI is employed to examine the interaction of a series of known and novel inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE plays an important role in neurological and inflammatory diseases, so a sensitive, rapid and straightforward inhibitor screening method is of the utmost importance. At the lowest limit, BSI can detect AChE-inhibitor interactions at 100 pM and avoids false positives with acetylthiocholine substrates seen in colorimetric techniques. Additionally, the experiments can be carried out in free-solution without the need for fluorescent labels.
Gabrielle Haddad-Weiser is in her third year of graduate research in the Lehigh University Chemistry department. In the Flowers group, her research focuses on using backscattering interferometry to analyze a variety of chemical systems. She graduated from Moravian College in 2010.