Phage display is a high-throughput technology used to identify peptides or proteins with high and specific binding affinities to a target, which is usually a protein biomarker or therapeutic receptor. In general, this technique allows peptides with a particular sequence to be presented on a phage particle. Peptides derived from phage display play an important role in drug discovery, drug delivery, cancer imaging, and treatment. Phage peptides themselves can act as sole therapeutics, for example, drugs, gene therapeutic, and immunotherapeutic agents that are comprehensively described elsewhere. In this chapter, we discuss phage selection and screening procedures in detail including some modifications to reduce nonspecific binding. In addition, the rationale for discovery and utilization of phage peptides as molecular imaging probes is focused upon. Molecular imaging is a new paradigm that uses advanced imaging instruments integrated with specific molecular imaging probes. Applications include monitoring of metabolic and molecular functions, therapeutic response, and drug efficacy, as well as early cancer detection, personalized medicine, and image-guided therapy.
Part of the book: Bacteriophages