Honors & Awards
Size-based Isolation of EVs from iPSC-CM for Diagnosis of Cardiomyopathies, 2018 Seed Grant Competition: Postdocs at the Interface (August 2018- July 2019)
Metasurfaces are engineered nanostructured interfaces that extend the photonic behavior of natural materials, and they spur many breakthroughs in multiple fields, including quantum optics, optoelectronics, and biosensing. Recent advances in metasurface nanofabrication enable precise manipulation of light-matter interactions at subwavelength scales. However, current fabrication methods are costly and time-consuming and have a small active area with low reproducibility due to limitations in lithography, where sensing nanosized rare biotargets requires a wide active surface area for efficient binding and detection. Here, a plastic-templated tunable metasurface with a large active area and periodic metal-dielectric layers to excite plasmonic Fano resonance transitions providing multimodal and multiplex sensing of small biotargets, such as proteins and viruses, is introduced. The tunable Fano resonance feature of the metasurface is enabled via chemical etching steps to manage nanoperiodicity of the plastic template decorated with plasmonic layers and surrounding dielectric medium. This metasurface integrated with microfluidics further enhances the light-matter interactions over a wide sensing area, extending data collection from 3D to 4D by tracking real-time biomolecular binding events. Overall, this work resolves cost- and complexity-related large-scale fabrication challenges and improves multilayer sensitivity of detection in biosensing applications.
View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.201907160
View details for PubMedID 32201997
Microfluidic technologies offer new platforms for biosensing in various clinical and point-of-care (POC) applications. Currently, at the clinical settings, the gold standard diagnostic platforms for multiplexed sensing are multi-step, time consuming, requiring expensive and bulky instruments with a constant need of electricity which makes them unsuitable for resource-limited or POC settings. These technologies are often limited by logistics, costly assays and regular maintenance. Although there have been several attempts to miniaturize these diagnostic platforms, they stand short of batch fabrication and they are dependent on complementary components such as syringe pumps. Here, we demonstrated the development and clinical testing of a disposable, multiplexed sensing device (ToMMx), which is a portable, high-throughput and user-friendly microfluidic platform. It was built with inexpensive plastic materials and operated manually without requiring electrical power and extensive training. We validated this platform in a small cohort of 50 clinical samples from patients with cardiovascular diseases and healthy controls. The platform is rapid and gives quantifiable results with high sensitivity, as low as 5.29pg/mL, from only a small sample volume (4muL). ToMMx platform was compared side-by-side with commercial ELISA kits where the total assay time is reduced 15-fold, from 5h to 20min. This technology platform is broadly applicable to various diseases with well-known biomarkers in diagnostics and monitoring, especially with potential future impact at the POC settings.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bios.2019.111930
View details for PubMedID 31929083
Plasmonic sensors provide real-time and label-free detection of biotargets with unprecedented sensitivity and detection limit. However, they usually lack the ability to estimate the thickness of the target layer formed on top of the sensing surface. Here, we report a sensing modality based on reflection spectroscopy of a nanoplasmonic Fabry-Perot cavity array, which exhibits characteristics of both surface plasmon polaritons and localized plasmon resonances and outperforms its conventional counterparts by providing the thickness of the surface-adsorbed layers. Through numerical simulations, we demonstrate that the designed plasmonic surface resembles two entangled Fabry-Perot cavities excited from both ends. Performance of the device is evaluated by studying sensor response in the refractive index (RI) measurement of aqueous glycerol solutions and during formation of a surface-adsorbed layer consisting of protein (i.e., NeutrAvidin) molecules. By tracking the resonance wavelengths of the two modes of the nanoplasmonic surface, it is therefore possible to measure the thickness of a homogeneous adsorbed layer and RI of the background solution with precisions better than 4 nm and 0.0001 RI units. Using numerical simulations, we show that the thickness estimation algorithm can be extended for layers consisting of nanometric analytes adsorbed on an antibody-coated sensor surface. Furthermore, performance of the device has been evaluated to detect exosomes. By providing a thickness estimation for adsorbed layers and differentiating binding events from background RI variations, this device can potentially supersede conventional plasmonic sensors.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.0c02797
View details for PubMedID 32639713
Untethered small actuators have various applications in multiple fields. However, existing small-scale actuators are very limited in their intractability with their surroundings, respond to only a single type of stimulus and are unable to achieve programmable structural changes under different stimuli. Here, we present a multiresponsive patternable actuator that can respond to humidity, temperature and light, via programmable structural changes. This capability is uniquely achieved by a fast and facile method that was used to fabricate a smart actuator with precise patterning on a graphene oxide film by hydrogel microstamping. The programmable actuator can mimic the claw of a hawk to grab a block, crawl like an inchworm, and twine around and grab the rachis of a flower based on their geometry. Similar to the large- and small-scale robots that are used to study locomotion mechanics, these small-scale actuators can be employed to study movement and biological and living organisms.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-12044-5
View details for PubMedID 31501430
High-sensitivity Troponin (hs-Tn) has emerged as a useful marker for patients with myocardial injury or heart failure. However, few studies have compared intermediate and hs-Tn in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Moreover, there remains uncertainty of which thresholds are the most useful for discriminating ventricular dysfunction or outcome. In this study we prospectively enrolled 105 patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) who underwent TAVR as well as blood sampling for high-sensitivity (hs-TnI) and conventional troponin I (EXL-LOCI and RXL) assessment. Patients underwent comprehensive pre-procedure echocardiography. Ventricular dysfunction was defined using left ventricular mass index (LVMI), LV global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) and LV end-diastolic pressure. The mean age was 84.0±8.7 years old and 60% were male sex with mean transaortic pressure gradient of 50.1±16.0mmHg and AVA of 0.63±0.19cm2. When using a threshold of 6ng/L, 77% had positive hs-TnI while 27% had positive hs-TnI using recommended thresholds (16ng/L for female and 34ng/L for male). Troponin levels were higher in the presence of abnormal LV phenotypes. The strongest correlate of troponin was LVMI. During median follow-up of 375 days, 21 patients (20%) died. Lower threshold of hs-TnI and EXL-TnI was more discriminatory for overall mortality (Log-rank P=0.03 for both), while higher threshold of hs-TnI (p=0.75) and RXL-TnI were not (p=0.30). Combining hs-TnI and BNP improved to predict long-term outcome (p=0.004). In conclusion, hs-TnI levels correlated with the degree of LV dysfunction phenotypes. Furthermore, applying a lower threshold for hs-TnI performed better for outcome prediction than a recommended threshold in patients undergoing TAVR. Combining hs-TnI with BNP helped better risk stratification.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-51371-x
View details for PubMedID 31624275
View details for Web of Science ID 000460565900718
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for the majority of heart failure (HF) hospitalization. To identify the most complementary predictors of mortality among clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic data, we used cluster based hierarchical modeling. Using Stanford Translational Research Database, we identified patients hospitalized with HFpEF between 2005 and 2016 in whom echocardiogram and NT-proBNP were both available at the time of admission. Comprehensive echocardiographic assessment including left ventricular longitudinal strain (LVLS), right ventricular function and right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) was performed. The outcome was defined as all-cause mortality. Among patients identified, 186 patients with complete echocardiographic assessment were included in the analysis. The cohort included 58% female, with a mean age of 78.7?±?13.5 years, LVLS of -13.3?±?2.5%, an estimated RVSP of 38?±?13?mmHg. Unsupervised cluster analyses identified six clusters including ventricular systolic-function cluster, diastolic-hemodynamic cluster, end-organ function cluster, vital-sign cluster, complete blood count and sodium clusters. Using a stepwise hierarchical selection from each cluster, we identified NT-proBNP (standard hazard ratio [95%CI]?=?1.56 [1.17-2.08]) and RVSP (1.37 [1.09-1.78]) as independent correlates of outcome. When adding these parameters to the well validated Get with the Guideline Heart Failure risk score, the Chi-square was significantly improved (p?=?0.01). In conclusion, NT-proBNP and RVSP were independently predictive in HFpEF among clinical, imaging, and biomarker parameters. Cluster-based hierarchical modeling may help identify the complementally predictive parameters in small cohorts with higher dimensional clinical data.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-46873-7
View details for PubMedID 31320698
One out of every six American women has been the victim of a sexual assault in their lifetime. However, the DNA casework backlog continues to increase outpacing the nation's capacity since DNA evidence processing in sexual assault casework remains a bottleneck due to laborious and time-consuming differential extraction of victim's and perpetrator's cells. Additionally, a significant amount (60-90%) of male DNA evidence may be lost with existing procedures. Here, a microfluidic method is developed that selectively captures sperm using a unique oligosaccharide sequence (Sialyl-LewisX), a major carbohydrate ligand for sperm-egg binding. This method is validated with forensic mock samples dating back to 2003, resulting in 70-92% sperm capture efficiency and a 60-92% reduction in epithelial fraction. Captured sperm are then lysed on-chip and sperm DNA is isolated. This method reduces assay-time from 8 h to 80 min, providing an inexpensive alternative to current differential extraction techniques, accelerating identification of suspects and advancing public safety.
View details for PubMedID 30250782
Microalgal proteins are promising sources for functional nutrition and a sustainable candidate for nutraceutical formulations. They also gain importance due to emerging focus on a healthy nutrition and increase in the number of chronic diseases. In this study, dried dietary species of microalga, Chlorella vulgaris, and cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis were hydrolyzed with pancreatin enzyme to obtain protein hydrolysates. The hydrolysis yield of biomass was 55.1 ± 0.1 and 64.8 ± 3.6% for C. vulgaris and S. platensis; respectively. Digestibility, as an indicator for dietary utilization, was also investigated. In vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) values depicted that cell wall structure due to the taxonomical differences affected both hydrolysis and digestibility yield of the crude biomass (p < 0.05). Epithelial cells (Vero) maintained their viability around 70%, even in relatively higher concentrations of hydrolysates in the culture. The protein hydrolysates showed no any antimicrobial activities. This study clearly shows that the conventional protein sources in nutraceutical formulations such as soy, whey, and fish proteins can be replaced by enzymatic hydrolysates of microalgae, which shows elevated digestibility values as a sustainable and reliable source.
View details for PubMedID 28660455
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5489447
Reactivation of latent viral reservoirs is on the forefront of HIV-1 eradication research. However, it is unknown if latency reversing agents (LRAs) increase the level of viral transcription from cells producing HIV RNA or harboring transcriptionally-inactive (latent) infection. We therefore developed a microfluidic single-cell-in-droplet (scd)PCR assay to directly measure the number of CD4(+) T cells that produce unspliced (us)RNA and multiply spliced (ms)RNA following ex vivo latency reversal with either an histone deacetylase inhibitor (romidepsin) or T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation. Detection of HIV-1 transcriptional activity can also be performed on hundreds of thousands of CD4+ T-cells in a single experiment. The scdPCR method was then applied to CD4(+) T cells obtained from HIV-1-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy. Overall, our results suggest that effects of LRAs on HIV-1 reactivation may be heterogeneous-increasing transcription from active cells in some cases and increasing the number of transcriptionally active cells in others. Genomic DNA and human mRNA isolated from HIV-1 reactivated cells could also be detected and quantified from individual cells. As a result, our assay has the potential to provide needed insight into various reservoir eradication strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.05.006
View details for PubMedID 28529033
View details for DOI 10.3906/biy-1608-61
Neutrophils have a critical role in regulating the immune system. The immune system is compromised during chemotherapy, increasing infection risks and imposing a need for regular monitoring of neutrophil counts. Although commercial hematology analyzers are currently used in clinical practice for neutrophil counts, they are only available in clinics and hospitals, use large blood volumes, and are not available at the point of care (POC). Additionally, phlebotomy and blood processing require trained personnel, where patients are often admitted to hospitals when the infections are at late stage due to lack of frequent monitoring. Here, a reliable method is presented that selectively captures and quantifies white blood cells (WBCs) and neutrophils from a finger prick volume of whole blood by integrating microfluidics with high-resolution imaging algorithms. The platform is compact, portable, and easy to use. It captures and quantifies WBCs and neutrophils with high efficiency (>95%) and specificity (>95%) with an overall 4.2% bias compared to standard testing. The results from a small cohort of patients (N = 11 healthy, N = 5 lung and kidney cancer) present a unique disposable cell counter, demonstrating the ability of this tool to monitor neutrophil and WBC counts within clinical or in resource-constrained environments.
View details for PubMedID 30740513
HIV-1 is a major global epidemic that requires sophisticated clinical management. There have been remarkable efforts to develop new strategies for detecting and treating HIV-1, as it has been challenging to translate them into resource-limited settings. Significant research efforts have been recently devoted to developing point-of-care (POC) diagnostics that can monitor HIV-1 viral load with high sensitivity by leveraging micro- and nano-scale technologies. These POC devices can be applied to monitoring of antiretroviral therapy, during mother-to-child transmission, and identification of latent HIV-1 reservoirs. In this review, we discuss current challenges in HIV-1 diagnosis and therapy in resource-limited settings and present emerging technologies that aim to address these challenges using innovative solutions.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addr.2016.05.018
View details for Web of Science ID 000380083700007
View details for PubMedID 27262924
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4943868
Although materials and engineered surfaces are broadly utilized in creating assays and devices with wide applications in diagnostics, preservation of these immuno-functionalized surfaces on microfluidic devices remains a significant challenge to create reliable repeatable assays that would facilitate patient care in resource-constrained settings at the point-of-care (POC), where reliable electricity and refrigeration are lacking. To address this challenge, we present an innovative approach to stabilize surfaces on-chip with multiple layers of immunochemistry. The functionality of microfluidic devices using the presented method is evaluated at room temperature for up to 6-month shelf life. We integrated the preserved microfluidic devices with a lensless complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging platform to count CD4(+) T cells from a drop of unprocessed whole blood targeting applications at the POC such as HIV management and monitoring. The developed immunochemistry stabilization method can potentially be applied broadly to other diagnostic immuno-assays such as viral load measurements, chemotherapy monitoring, and biomarker detection for cancer patients at the POC.
View details for DOI 10.1038/srep21163
View details for Web of Science ID 000370230000001
View details for PubMedID 26883474
Recent advances in biosensing technologies present great potential for medical diagnostics, thus improving clinical decisions. However, creating a label-free general sensing platform capable of detecting multiple biotargets in various clinical specimens over a wide dynamic range, without lengthy sample-processing steps, remains a considerable challenge. In practice, these barriers prevent broad applications in clinics and at patients' homes. Here, we demonstrate the nanoplasmonic electrical field-enhanced resonating device (NE(2)RD), which addresses all these impediments on a single platform. The NE(2)RD employs an immunodetection assay to capture biotargets, and precisely measures spectral color changes by their wavelength and extinction intensity shifts in nanoparticles without prior sample labeling or preprocessing. We present through multiple examples, a label-free, quantitative, portable, multitarget platform by rapidly detecting various protein biomarkers, drugs, protein allergens, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, and distinct viruses. The linear dynamic range of NE(2)RD is five orders of magnitude broader than ELISA, with a sensitivity down to 400 fg/mL This range and sensitivity are achieved by self-assembling gold nanoparticles to generate hot spots on a 3D-oriented substrate for ultrasensitive measurements. We demonstrate that this precise platform handles multiple clinical samples such as whole blood, serum, and saliva without sample preprocessing under diverse conditions of temperature, pH, and ionic strength. The NE(2)RD's broad dynamic range, detection limit, and portability integrated with a disposable fluidic chip have broad applications, potentially enabling the transition toward precision medicine at the point-of-care or primary care settings and at patients' homes.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1510824112
View details for PubMedID 26195743
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4538635
Cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects of Montivipera xanthina venom against LNCaP, MCF-7, HT-29, Saos-2, Hep3B, Vero cells and antimicrobial activity against selected bacterial and fungal species: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, E. coli O157H7, Enterococcus faecalis 29212, Enterococcus faecium DSM 13590, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228, S. typhimirium CCM 5445, Proteus vulgaris ATCC 6957 and Candida albicans ATCC 10239 were studied for evaluating the potential medical benefit of this snake venom. Cytotoxicity of venom was determined using MTT assay. Snake venom cytotoxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50 % of the cells (IC50). The antimicrobial activity of venom was studied by minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and disc diffusion assay. MIC was determined using broth dilution method. The estimated IC50 values of venom varied from 3.8 to 12.7 or from 1.9 to 7.2 ?g/ml after treatment with crude venom for 24 or 48 h for LNCaP, MCF-7, HT-29 and Saos-2 cells. There was no observable cytotoxic effect on Hep3B and Vero cells. Venom exhibited the most potent activity against C. albicans (MIC, 7.8 ?g/ml and minimal fungicidal concentration, 62.5 ?g/ml) and S. aureus (MIC, 31.25 ?g/ml). This study is the first report showing the potential of M. xanthina venom as an alternative therapeutic approach due to its cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10616-013-9540-z
View details for Web of Science ID 000334174300009
View details for PubMedID 23381026