Software for Quantification of Ligand-Driven Oligomerization


Oligomeric size determination of cellular receptors or other membrane-bound proteins, High-throughput screening of drug candidates targeting protein-protein interactions, Live-cell imaging etc.

Target Problems

-Probing protein association, or oligomerization, in cells is an important problem in life sciences.

-Determining the size of their oligomers, or the timing of the oligomerization onset pose substantial experimental challenges, with different studies often producing contradicting results.

-Existing technologies either are laborious and slow or lack the bandwidth needed to discriminate between different oligomeric sizes and expression levels (i.e., concentrations).

Key Features

High Throughput – Can produce and analyze a complete set of data (for one receptor) in one day or less.

High Selectivity and Sensitivity – Capable of determining identity, abundance, and stability of oligomers.

Wide Applications – Can be used to quantify any protein that can be fluorescently tagged.


A method to quantify ligand-driven oligomerization from fluorescence-based images. A molecular brightness-based determination algorithm is incorporated into a computer program suite for extracting oligomer size from images of fluorescently tagged membrane receptors. This program is capable of producing a complete set of data per type of sample in less than one day using a standard personal computer. This method, termed one- or two-dimensional fluorescence intensity fluctuation spectrometry (that is, FIF or two-dimensional FIF spectrometry, respectively), which can generate ‘spectrograms’ of brightness distributions from intensity fluctuations across image pixels (that is, from spatial distributions) for different concentrations of molecules, and unmixes them to determine the exact proportion of different oligomer sizes. FIF spectrometry extracts information on oligomer sizes and proportion from spatial intensity fluctuations in fluorescence images at the expense of single-cell resolution. This classification and quantification of oligomers facilitates the development of effective therapies targeting protein-protein interactions.

Intellectual Property

Copyrighted Software available for no charge for first 15 days and at discounted rate for non-commercial use. Please contact us for commercial use. This technology – including experimental design, measurements, and data analysis – is also available as a service to commercial and non-commercial customers.

Inventors (Lead)

Dr. Valerica Raicu, Department of Physics, UW-Milwaukee

For further information please contact:
Smruti Patil, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
UWM Research Foundation
1440 East North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tel: 414-906-4657
Please reference: OTT ID. 1633

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