Milan Mrksich (PhD ’94) Creates Tool to Test Drugs at High Speed

Transient

Pharmaceutical researchers trying to create medications begin by testing each variation for signs of effectiveness. Using automated machines, they can screen as many as 1,000 molecules a day. 

Milan Mrksich can do 100 times better than that. A biomedical engineer and chemical biologist at Northwestern University, he has developed a process that can assess up to 100,000 compounds a day. He calls his turbocharged tool Samdi, for self-assembled monolayers for desorption ionization. He also has a startup, Samdi Tech Inc., that will run these tests for a fee for academic  and commercial researchers. 

"Samdi is the first label-free assay that can be performed at high throughput," Mr. Mrksich says.

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