Published: April 13, 2020


The protein thermal shift assay (TSA) is a primary analytical tool for measuring protein thermal stability and is widely used in various biomedical applications. Current TSA methods are usually suffering from intensive labor, time-consuming workflow, expensive equipment, detergents, a lack of reliant labels such as antibodies, or requiring large amounts of purified proteins, that can be difficult and expensive to obtain.


By integrating acoustics into microfluidic chip, Dr. Xiaoyun Ding’s lab invented a novel acousto thermal shift assay (ATSA) that can conduct protein thermal shift assay by monitoring protein thermal stability, the melting curve, in real time. We achieved the sample preparation, measurement and data collection all in one step within one single chip, dramatically reducing the cost and assay time.


  • Fast, the whole process from sample loading to data collection for each run takes 2-5 minutes.
  • Low cost, the cost for each chip can be less than 10$ once mass produced and can be reused.
  • High sensitivity, it shows much higher sensitivity than current popular methods such as DSF and BCA, based on the proteins we tested.
  • Easy to use, it can be potentially controlled, powered and measured all using one smart phone.
  • Label free.
  • Small sample volume.

What's Next?

The team is looking to bring this invention to market through a licensing deal.


Nicole Forsberg: