Home Medizin Huckepack mit der Glukosesensortechnologie zum Aufbau eines universellen Medikamentenüberwachungssystems

Huckepack mit der Glukosesensortechnologie zum Aufbau eines universellen Medikamentenüberwachungssystems

von NFI Redaktion

Researchers at Rice University have found a way to utilize glucose monitoring technology used in automated insulin dosing systems to make it universally applicable for monitoring and dosing practically any medication.

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers in the lab of Caroline Ajo-Franklin demonstrated the technique by modifying a blood glucose sensor to detect the cancer drug Afimoxifen, an estrogen blocker produced by the patient’s body even after chemotherapy with Tamoxifen.

By leveraging advanced biosensor technology available in most drugstores for less than $20, Ajo-Franklin’s team hopes to accelerate the development of automated dosing systems for chemotherapies and other medications, as well as other technologies for real-time monitoring of biomarkers in the blood.

„The dream is to have a technology similar to today’s for monitoring and treating blood sugar fluctuations, but for practically any medication. Millions of people use blood glucose meters daily. If we can use the same base technology for monitoring other medications and biomarkers, we could move away from the uniform dosing schemes we rely on today.“ – Caroline Ajo-Franklin, Biologist, Cancer Researcher, and Director of the Rice Synthetic Biology Institute

The heart of glucose monitoring technology is a biochemical reaction where specific proteins bind to glucose molecules and release electrons. Millions of these reactions occur within seconds, generating a small electrical current proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood sample.

Postdoctoral researcher Rong Cai tested over 400 slightly modified versions of the electron-releasing protein, identifying one version that reacted with Afimoxifen, reducing the current output of the glucose reaction in the blood. This allowed the team to detect the presence of Afimoxifen by comparing the current output of the modified test with the regular glucose test.

To demonstrate the technology in an electronic device, Ajo-Franklin’s team collaborated with Rice engineer and materials scientist Rafael Verduzco’s research group to develop an Afimoxifen sensor that emitted a current when the drug was detected.

Ajo-Franklin stated that her lab is already working on enhancing the sensitivity of glucose-based drug tests and developing methods for rapidly identifying glucose-oxidizing proteins capable of recognizing other drugs besides Afimoxifen.

„The blood glucose meter is the part that is so well developed,“ Cai said. „Although our goal is different, it’s just about constructing and modifying the protein inside. Externally, everything will remain the same. You can still perform the test with a strip or on the arm.“

She noted that another key feature of the technology is its generation of an electrical output.

„If your signal is electrical, you can read it on your phone, store its data on your phone, send it to the cloud, whatever,“ said Cai. „That’s the part, the connection between electricity and biology, that is very appealing.“

Ajo-Franklin is a professor of Biological Sciences at the Weiss School of Natural Sciences and a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Verduzco is a professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as well as Materials Science and Nanoengineering at the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

The research was supported by CPRIT (RR190063), the National Science Foundation (1828869, 2223678), and the Army Research Office (W911NF-22-1-0239).


Journal Reference:

Cai, R., et al. (2024). Development of a point-of-care therapeutic sensor using protein engineering, electrochemical sensing, and electronic integration. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-45789-9.

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