Antigen Discovery Inc.,(ADI) is developing hand-held point-of-care (POC) diagnostics to meet a vital need. First responders during major disease outbreak need a portable device, that is easy to use, and will give a prompt answer to the question, “What is making so many people very sick?” The biotech company, ADI, is collaborating with the academic team from a Biomedical Department of the Henri Samueli School of Engineering to embark on this project with the goal of developing a device, probably compatible with our current hand-held-phones, with the necessary portability, ease-of-use, and prompt sample-to-answer times. Towards this purpose, ADI has received a Phase I SBIR Grant, which shows confidence, recognition and support of their key technology by leaders in this field. Hopefully, this small, portable device will work in a field environment during a disease crisis and also be a financial success. Such a collabortion of the best of biotechnology academic and development & marketing capabilities, might save many lives.
The technology utilizes proteome microarrays in immune response profiling. The diagram on their website details very simply their basic technology of antigen discovery for vaccine and diagnostic development. Proteins are printed on a microarray – these proteins are from the known infectious organisms. Antibodies from the patients’ blood will bind to a few of these proteins if they are infected with any of those known infectious organisms. They have the basic infectious agent disease technology. What they do not have is the technology required to get this information quickly, at a field site, where there might be hundreds of people dying mysteriously or getting very sick after a natural disaster from a mysterious disease. For this they turned to a collaboration with an advanced engineering biomedical department.
A team led by Abraham Lee Chair, Biomedical Engineering Director, Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus Center The Henry Samueli School of Engineering University of California, Irvine provided them a solution.
Dr Lee’s team’s goal is to unveil biological events such as cell signaling pathways, genetic mutation processes, or the immune responses to pathogens, with a method to generate large-scale, multifunctional nano-bio interfaces with readout and control. Professor Lee’s research group is developing integrated microfluidic platforms with the goal of generating programmable synthesis of multifunctional nanotransducers. One of the research interests is micro devices for distributed surveillance in liquid-based environments.
Professor Abraham “Abe” Lee’s research interest focuses on the development of integrated micro and nano fluidic chip processors for the manipulation and self-assembly of biomolecules and other synthesized nanoparticles. These integrated chip processors will also be designed for the sample preparation of biological fluids to extract the required ingredients for on-chip transducers. Applications for these fluidic processors include programmable precision production of biological reagents for nanomedicine, biomolecular nanosystems that utilize biophysics principles, and platforms to perform controlled studies of molecule-molecule/cell-molecule interactions.