From Piddocks to Products

10 December 2018 18:00-20:00, London, United Kingdom

The Common Piddock, Pholas dactylus, is a mollusc with a unique bioluminescent system. In the mollusc, the luminescence is produced by a reaction between the enzyme Pholasinase and a light-emitting protein, Pholasin®. However, when isolated from the mollusc and Pholasinase, Pholasin® emits light in the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Dr Jan Knight and her team at Knight Scientific have developed a range of analytical products incorporating Pholasin®. One group of these assay kits is used to measure the real time production of ROS from living cells, while a second group is in use to quantify the antioxidant capacity of materials when challenged by these ROS.

The first group of kits is being used in a range of applications from monitoring the health and performance of elite human and equine athletes to diagnosing the presence of sexually transmitted infections in humans.

The second group is in use for quantifying the antioxidant capacity of natural ingredients and finished products. ABEL® (Analysis By Emitted Light) and RAC (Relative Antioxidant Capacity) are combined in Knight Scientific’s ABEL-RACTM method for quantifying RAC. The method entails challenges with a number of different ROS and is sufficiently accurate and precise to be used in the standardisation, batch to batch, of products made from both water and oil soluble ingredients.

ABEL-RACTM method and associate kits are also used to identify, quantify and optimise synergy, especially by and for companies in the nutraceutical and cosmetics industries, to help justify their marketing claims.

Pholas dactylus was once common all over the Mediterranean but by the 1970’s  it was almost extinct. Jan and her husband Dr Robert Knight had to solve a number of interesting problems along the way (and one problem they could not have anticipated) to ensure that they could sustainably exploit this remarkable bioluminescent system.
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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