General description of the GalVir approach
To measure the lipid composition of a viral envelope for every single virion in a virus sample population, a novel “Galvanized Virus” (GalVir) iterative technology is proposed here. Novel lipid-specific molecular probes are proposed by NextGenRnD. These lipid-specific probes will consist of two moieties: (i) a lipid-specific moiety will be responsible for the recognition of a specific lipid; (ii) a metal-specific moiety having high metal ion affinity will be responsible for the attraction of metal ions. First, lipid-specific molecular probe will be used to cover all the lipid molecules of the same variety present on every single virion in the viral sample in a non-covalent fashion exposing the metal-attracting moiety. Second, metal ions will be added to these probe-decorated virions. This will trigger fast binding of metal ions and subsequent metal ion crowding in every probe’s vicinity. Third, mild reduction chemical reagent will be added, which will instantly reduce the metal ions associated with virions to a metal state generating a thin metal film, covering patches of lipids on virions. Fourth, fast spin-column based gel-filtration approach will be used to purify the metal-patched virions’ population from reagents and the iterative "Galvanized Virus Cycle" can be repeated with another lipid-specific probe and ions of different metal until entire virions will be covered with different metal patches. Fifth, 8-nanometer lateral spatial resolution Auger Electron Spectroscopy will be used to yield the quantitative elemental and chemical state information on every single galvanized virion in the virus preparation.
In this Solution, NextGenRnD describes the experimental approach allowing the determination of the lipid composition of any viral envelope in any virus sample population (homogeneous or heterogeneous). Novel lipid-specific molecular probes are exploited to decipher the lipid composition of any virion through quantitation of the elemental composition of metal-patched viral particles. Implementation of this approach requires access to the Auger Electron Spectroscopy instrument.