A Mega-High-Throughput Screening Platform for the Discovery of Biologically Relevant Sequence-Defined Non-Natural Polymers

19 October 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Combinatorial methods enable the synthesis of chemical libraries on scales of millions to billions of compounds, but the ability to efficiently screen and sequence such large libraries has remained a major bottleneck for molecular discovery. We developed a novel technology for screening and sequencing libraries of synthetic molecules of up to a billion compounds in size. This method utilizes Fiber-optic Array Scanning Technology (FAST) to screen bead-based libraries of synthetic compounds at a rate of 5 million compounds per minute (~83,000 Hz). This ultra-high-throughput screening platform has been used to screen libraries of synthetic “self-readable” non-natural polymers that can be sequenced at femtomole scale by chemical fragmentation and highresolution mass spectrometry. The versatility and throughput of the platform was demonstrated by screening two libraries of non-natural polyamide polymers with sizes of 1.77M and 1B compounds against the protein targets K-Ras, asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR), IL-6, IL-6 receptor and TNFα. Hits with nanomolar binding affinities were found against all targets, including competitive inhibitors of K-Ras binding to Raf and functionally active uptake ligands for ASGPR facilitating intracellular delivery.


drug discovery
affinity reagents

Supplementary materials

FAST screening platform SRI manuscript Supplemental


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