PolyAn Hydrophobic Beads

PolyAn has developed hydrophobic beads that are characterized by a high contact angle with water, and are stable in organic solvents such as methanol, acetone and even chloroform (up to 50% v/v).

PolyAn’s hydrophobic beads may be applied to immobilize amphiphilic biomolecules like phospholipids, lipopolysaccharides,  lipoproteins, or even membrane-based receptors after cell-lysis.


Lipid-containing Biomolecules as Biomarkers

Amphiphilic biomolecules like phospholipids, lipopolysaccharides, and lipoproteins play a key role in many biological processes, and can potentially be used as future biomarkers for the diagnosis of e.g. autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, or cancer.

Hydrophobic beads are a promising platform for the detection of such biomarkers, as they allow a directed (oriented) immobilization of lipophilic/amphiphilic biomolecules from organic solvents.


Importance of Oriented Binding

The challenge in developing bead-based bioassays for lipophilic/amphiphilic biomolecules is to immobilize them in an oriented direction.

Due to the hydrophobic bead surface, the tails of the lipophilic biomolecules are oriented towards the bead, while their hydrophilic heads are directed towards the outside. This directional immobilization is absolutely necessary to allow for subsequent binding of detector molecules (e.g. antibodies) within bioassays.


User case: Oriented binding of phospholipids

PolyAn’s hydrophobic beads were applied for the directed binding of cardiolipin, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylcholine. Oriented immobilization was confirmed by enzymatic cleavage of the dye-labeled phospholipids.


Dye-cleavage was only observed with Phospholipase C, but not with Phospholipase A, which confirmed that the phospholipids were bound oriented via their lipophilic tails.



  • F. Dinter et al., `Immobilisation of Lipophilic and Amphiphilic Biomarker on Hydrophobic Microbeads´, bioRxiv, 2023, DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.10.523433 (preprint).

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