A team of EPFL scientists has developed several antibody-based biosensors that have the potential to help healthcare centers in developing countries or even patients in their own homes keep track of drug concentration in the blood.
Being able to monitor drug concentration in the blood of a patient is an important aspect of any pharmaceutical treatment. However, this requires equipment and facilities that are often missing from field healthcare in developing countries, but also inhibits the quality of life for patients elsewhere. EPFL scientists, working through their startup LUCENTIX, have now developed an antibody-linked biosensor that can track drug concentration in the blood by changing its color. The biosensor is incorporated into a full system that can be used in the field or by patients at home. The science behind it is published in Angewandte Chemie.
The lab of Kai Johnsson at EPFL is known for developing biosensors, and the research gave birth to the startup LUCENTIX, which has developed a biosensor that allows patients to easily measure drug concentrations in their system without need for complex lab systems.
The biosensor is a molecule made up of three components: First, a protein that can bind the drug to be monitored. Second, the light-producing enzyme luciferase. And third, a “tagging” molecule called SNAP-tag, which carries a fluorescent ligand that the protein (the first component) recognizes and binds when no drug is present. This causes a reaction between the luciferase and the fluorescent molecule called “bioluminescent resonance energy transfer” (BRET), which produces a red light.
The recent innovation, carried out by postdoc Lin Xue, involves replacing the binding protein of the biosensor with part of an antibody that has been developed against the target drug. When the biosensor detects and binds the drug in the patient’s blood or saliva, the antibody “prefers” to bind this rather than the SNAP-tag’s fluorescent ligand. As the ligand is displaced, the BRET reaction is progressively disrupted, and now emits a blue light.
Antibodies are naturally able to identify and bind foreign molecules, turning our immune systems against potential infections. In addition, generating antibodies that can specifically identify small molecules like drugs is a routine procedure. This means that the monitoring system can be adapted to virtually an unlimited number of molecules, while patients can carry out the monitoring themselves at home and receive laboratory-level quality information. Current lab methods for doing this are complex and expensive, and reduce the quality of life for patients who have to often be confined within or close to hospitals.
Replacing the binding protein with an antibody establishes a general pipeline for the generation of biosensors that can identify a synthetic drug in a patient’s blood sample. As proof-of-principle, the EPFL scientists successfully tested the new biosensors against three drugs – methotrexate, theophylline, and quinine – in the lab. The next step will be to optimize the biosensor’s sensitivity so that it can accurately detect the nanomolar or even lower concentrations of drugs/biomolecules in clinical samples.
The Latest on: Point-of-care drug monitoring
Epic EHR at UNC Health Care Now Integrated with State PDMP
on July 18, 2018 at 10:33 am
July 18, 2018 - University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care recently became the first healthcare organization in the state to link its Epic EHR to the state prescription drug monitoring ... databas... […]
Global Immunoassay Market Strategies and Trends 2019-2023 With Multiplex and Point of Care Market Analysis
on July 16, 2018 at 5:45 am
With Multiplex and Point of Care Market Analysis, Executive Guides and including ... Acquisition of POC Eye Health Businesses 4.10 Precision for Medicine Buys Immune Monitoring Lab Epiontis 4.11 Immun... […]
Richard Smith: Is precision medicine a fantasy?
on July 13, 2018 at 7:36 am
Bert Rutten, a senior scientist, showed me a point of care machine that could ... for which the company has a drug. Another machine could measure uric acid from a spot of blood at home or in a GP’s su... […]
Blood Gas and Electrolyte Analyzers Market is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 4.7% by 2024 | Hexa Research
on July 12, 2018 at 5:18 am
These devices help in the diagnosis of diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), drug overdose ... best suited for mobile & bedside monitoring. The various end users are hospital... […]
AK Hospitals Connect to State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
on July 11, 2018 at 6:45 am
July 11, 2018 - Hospitals throughout Alaska recently connected to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) through care collaboration network Collective Medical as part of an effort to ... […]
via Google News and Bing News