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1.  Matrix-insensitive protein assays push the limits of biosensors in medicine 
Nature medicine  2009;15(11):1327-1332.
Advances in biosensor technologies for in vitro diagnostics have the potential to transform the practice of medicine. Despite considerable work in the biosensor field, there is still no general sensing platform that can be ubiquitously applied to detect the constellation of biomolecules in diverse clinical samples (for example, serum, urine, cell lysates or saliva) with high sensitivity and large linear dynamic range. A major limitation confounding other technologies is signal distortion that occurs in various matrices due to heterogeneity in ionic strength, pH, temperature and autofluorescence. Here we present a magnetic nanosensor technology that is matrix insensitive yet still capable of rapid, multiplex protein detection with resolution down to attomolar concentrations and extensive linear dynamic range. The matrix insensitivity of our platform to various media demonstrates that our magnetic nanosensor technology can be directly applied to a variety of settings such as molecular biology, clinical diagnostics and biodefense.
PMCID: PMC4165514  PMID: 19820717
2.  Molecular Detection of Bacterial Pathogens Using Microparticle Enhanced Double-Stranded DNA Probes 
Analytical chemistry  2011;83(16):6349-6354.
Rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of bacterial pathogens is essential toward clinical management of infectious diseases. Traditional approaches for pathogen detection, however, often require time-intensive bacterial culture and amplification procedures. Herein, a microparticle enhanced double-stranded DNA probe is demonstrated for rapid species-specific detection of bacterial 16S rRNA. In this molecular assay, the binding of the target sequence to the fluorophore conjugated probe thermodynamically displaces the quencher probe and allows the fluorophore to fluoresce. By incorporation of streptavidin-coated microparticles to localize the biotinylated probes, the sensitivity of the assay can be improved by 3 orders of magnitude. The limit of detection of the assay is as few as eight bacteria without target amplification and is highly specific against other common pathogens. Its applicability toward clinical diagnostics is demonstrated by directly identifying bacterial pathogens in urine samples from patients with urinary tract infections.
PMCID: PMC4104485  PMID: 21718053
3.  Advances and challenges in biosensor-based diagnosis of infectious diseases 
Rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases and timely initiation of appropriate treatment are critical determinants that promote optimal clinical outcomes and general public health. Conventional in vitro diagnostics for infectious diseases are time-consuming and require centralized laboratories, experienced personnel and bulky equipment. Recent advances in biosensor technologies have potential to deliver point-of-care diagnostics that match or surpass conventional standards in regards to time, accuracy and cost. Broadly classified as either label-free or labeled, modern biosensors exploit micro- and nanofabrication technologies and diverse sensing strategies including optical, electrical and mechanical transducers. Despite clinical need, translation of biosensors from research laboratories to clinical applications has remained limited to a few notable examples, such as the glucose sensor. Challenges to be overcome include sample preparation, matrix effects and system integration. We review the advances of biosensors for infectious disease diagnostics and discuss the critical challenges that need to be overcome in order to implement integrated diagnostic biosensors in real world settings.
PMCID: PMC4104499  PMID: 24524681
iosensor; infectious diseases; matrix effects; microfluidics; sample preparation; system integration
4.  AC Electrokinetics Facilitated Biosensor Cassette for Rapid Pathogen Identification 
The Analyst  2013;138(13):3660-3666.
To develop a portable point-of-care system based on biosensors for common infectious diseases such as urinary tract infection, the sensing process needs to be implemented within an enclosed fluidic system. On chip sample preparation of clinical samples remains a significant obstacle to achieve robust sensor performance. Herein AC electrokinetics is applied in an electrochemical biosensor cassette to enhance molecular convection and hybridization efficiency though electrokinetic induced fluid motion and Joule heating induced temperature elevation. Using E. coli as an exemplary pathogen, we determined the optimal electrokinetic parameters for detecting bacterial 16S rRNA in the biosensor cassette based on the current output, signal-to-noise ratio, and limit of detection. In addition, a panel of six probe sets targeting common uropathogenic bacteria was demonstrated. The optimized parameters were also validated using patient-derived clinical urine samples. The effectiveness of electrokinetic for on chip sample preparation will facilitate the implementation of point-of-care diagnosis of urinary tract infection in the future.
PMCID: PMC3709570  PMID: 23626988
5.  A Biosensor Platform for Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Directly From Clinical Samples 
The Journal of urology  2010;185(1):148-153.
A significant barrier to efficient antibiotic management of infection is that the standard diagnostic methodologies do not provide results at the point of care. The delays between sample collection and bacterial culture and antibiotic susceptibility reporting have led to empirical use of antibiotics, contributing to the emergence of drug resistant pathogens. As a key step toward the development of a point of care device for determining the antibiotic susceptibility of urinary tract pathogens, we report on a biosensor based antimicrobial susceptibility test.
Materials and Methods
For assay development bacteria were cultured with or without antibiotics, and growth was quantitated by determining viable counts and electrochemical biosensor measurement of bacterial 16S rRNA. To determine antibiotic susceptibility directly from patient samples, urine was cultured on antibiotic plates for 2.5 hours and growth was determined by electrochemical measurement of bacterial 16S rRNA. For assay validation 252 urine samples were collected from patients at the Spinal Cord Injury Service at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. The biosensor based antimicrobial susceptibility test was completed for samples containing gram-negative organisms. Pathogen identification and antibiotic susceptibility results were compared between our assay and standard microbiological analysis.
A direct biosensor quantitation of bacterial 16S rRNA can be used to monitor bacterial growth for a biosensor based antimicrobial susceptibility test. Clinical validation of a biosensor based antimicrobial susceptibility test with patient urine samples demonstrated that this test was 94% accurate in 368 pathogen-antibiotic tests compared to standard microbiological analysis.
This biosensor based antimicrobial susceptibility test, in concert with our previously described pathogen identification assay, can provide culture and susceptibility information directly from a urine sample within 3.5 hours.
PMCID: PMC4051414  PMID: 21074208
urinary tract infections; biosensing techniques; microbial sensitivity tests; point-of-care systems
6.  Dynamic Real-time Microscopy of the Urinary Tract Using Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy 
Urology  2011;78(1):225-231.
To develop the diagnostic criteria for benign and neoplastic conditions of the urinary tract using probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE), a new technology for dynamic, in vivo imaging with micron-scale resolution. The suggested diagnostic criteria will formulate a guide for pCLE image interpretation in urology.
Patients scheduled for transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) or nephrectomy were recruited. After white-light cystoscopy (WLC), fluorescein was administered as contrast. Different areas of the urinary tract were imaged with pCLE via direct contact between the confocal probe and the area of interest. Confocal images were subsequently compared with standard hematoxylin and eosin analysis.
pCLE images were collected from 66 participants, including 2 patients who underwent nephrectomy. We identified key features associated with different anatomic landmarks of the urinary tract, including the kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate, and urethra. In vivo pCLE of the bladder demonstrated distinct differences between normal mucosa and neoplastic tissue. Using mosaicing, a post hoc image-processing algorithm, individual image frames were juxtaposed to form wideangle views to better evaluate tissue microarchitecture.
In contrast to standard pathologic analysis of fixed tissue with hematoxylin and eosin, pCLE provides real time microscopy of the urinary tract to enable dynamic interrogation of benign and neoplastic tissues in vivo. The diagnostic criteria developed in this study will facilitate adaptation of pCLE for use in conjunction with WLC to expedite diagnosis of urinary tract pathology, particularly bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC4038103  PMID: 21601243
7.  Multiplex Pathogen Identification for Polymicrobial Urinary Tract Infections Using Biosensor Technology: A Prospective Clinical Study 
The Journal of urology  2009;182(6):2735-2741.
Rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infection would have a significant beneficial impact on clinical management, particularly in patients with structural or functional urinary tract abnormalities who are highly susceptible to recurrent polymicrobial infections. We examined the analytical validity of an electrochemical biosensor array for rapid molecular diagnosis of urinary tract infection in a prospective clinical study in patients with neurogenic bladder.
Materials and Methods
The electrochemical biosensor array was functionalized with DNA probes against 16S rRNA of the most common uropathogens. Spinal cord injured patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital were recruited into the study. Urine samples were generally tested on the biosensor within 1 to 2 hours of collection. Biosensor results were compared with those obtained using standard clinical microbiology laboratory methods.
We successfully developed a 1-hour biosensor assay for multiplex identification of pathogens. From July 2007 to December 2008 we recruited 116 patients, yielding a total of 109 urine samples suitable for analysis and comparison between biosensor assay and standard urine culture. Of the samples 74% were positive, of which 42% were polymicrobial. We identified 20 organisms, of which Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus species were the most common. Biosensor assay specificity and positive predictive value were 100%. Pathogen detection sensitivity was 89%, yielding a 76% negative predictive value.
To our knowledge we report the first prospective clinical study to successfully identify pathogens within a point of care time frame using an electrochemical biosensor platform. Additional efforts to improve the limit of detection and probe design are needed to further enhance assay sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC4035241  PMID: 19837423
urinary bladder; neurogenic; spinal cord injuries; urinary tract infections; biosensing techniques; RNA; ribosomal; 16S
8.  Interobserver Agreement of Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy for Bladder Cancer 
Journal of Endourology  2013;27(5):598-603.
Background and Purpose
Emerging optical imaging technologies such as confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) hold promise in improving bladder cancer diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to determine the interobserver agreement of image interpretation using CLE for bladder cancer.
Experienced CLE urologists (n=2), novice CLE urologists (n=6), pathologists (n=4), and nonclinical researchers (n=5) were recruited to participate in a 2-hour computer-based training consisting of a teaching and validation set of intraoperative white light cystoscopy (WLC) and CLE video sequences from patients undergoing transurethral resection of bladder tumor. Interobserver agreement was determined using the κ statistic.
Of the 31 bladder regions analyzed, 19 were cancer and 12 were benign. For cancer diagnosis, experienced CLE urologists had substantial agreement for both CLE and WLC+CLE (90%, κ 0.80) compared with moderate agreement for WLC alone (74%, κ 0.46), while novice CLE urologists had moderate agreement for CLE (77%, κ 0.55), WLC (78%, κ 0.54), and WLC+CLE (80%, κ 0.59). Pathologists had substantial agreement for CLE (81%, κ 0.61), and nonclinical researchers had moderate agreement (77%, κ 0.49) in cancer diagnosis. For cancer grading, experienced CLE urologists had fair to moderate agreement for CLE (68%, κ 0.64), WLC (74%, κ 0.67), and WLC+CLE (53%, κ 0.33), as did novice CLE urologists for CLE (53%, κ 0.39), WLC (66%, κ 0.50), and WLC+CLE (61%, κ 0.49). Pathologists (65%, κ 0.55) and nonclinical researchers (61%, κ 0.56) both had moderate agreement for CLE in cancer grading.
CLE is an adoptable technology for cancer diagnosis in novice CLE observers after a short training with moderate interobserver agreement and diagnostic accuracy similar to WLC alone. Experienced CLE observers may be capable of achieving substantial levels of agreement for cancer diagnosis that is higher than with WLC alone.
PMCID: PMC3643225  PMID: 23072435
9.  Biosensor diagnosis of urinary tract infections: a path to better treatment? 
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is among the most common bacterial infections and poses a significant healthcare burden. The standard culture-based diagnosis of UTI has a typical delay of two to three days. In the absence of definitive microbiological diagnosis at the point of care, physicians frequently initiate empirical broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment, which has contributed to the emergence of resistant pathogens. Biosensors are emerging as a powerful diagnostic platform for infectious diseases. Similar to how blood glucose sensors revolutionized the management of diabetes and pregnancy tests are now conducted at home, biosensors are poised to significantly improve UTI diagnosis. Biosensors are amenable to integration with microfluidic technology for point-of-care applications. This review focuses on promising biosensor technology for UTI diagnosis, including pathogen identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing and hurdles in the translation of biosensor technology from bench to bedside.
PMCID: PMC3106133  PMID: 21458868
10.  Clinical Validation of Integrated Nucleic Acid and Protein Detection on an Electrochemical Biosensor Array for Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26846.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that poses a substantial healthcare burden, yet its definitive diagnosis can be challenging. There is a need for a rapid, sensitive and reliable analytical method that could allow early detection of UTI and reduce unnecessary antibiotics. Pathogen identification along with quantitative detection of lactoferrin, a measure of pyuria, may provide useful information towards the overall diagnosis of UTI. Here, we report an integrated biosensor platform capable of simultaneous pathogen identification and detection of urinary biomarker that could aid the effectiveness of the treatment and clinical management.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The integrated pathogen 16S rRNA and host lactoferrin detection using the biosensor array was performed on 113 clinical urine samples collected from patients at risk for complicated UTI. For pathogen detection, the biosensor used sandwich hybridization of capture and detector oligonucleotides to the target analyte, bacterial 16S rRNA. For detection of the protein biomarker, the biosensor used an analogous electrochemical sandwich assay based on capture and detector antibodies. For this assay, a set of oligonucleotide probes optimized for hybridization at 37°C to facilitate integration with the immunoassay was developed. This probe set targeted common uropathogens including E. coli, P. mirabilis, P. aeruginosa and Enterococcus spp. as well as less common uropathogens including Serratia, Providencia, Morganella and Staphylococcus spp. The biosensor assay for pathogen detection had a specificity of 97% and a sensitivity of 89%. A significant correlation was found between LTF concentration measured by the biosensor and WBC and leukocyte esterase (p<0.001 for both).
We successfully demonstrate simultaneous detection of nucleic acid and host immune marker on a single biosensor array in clinical samples. This platform can be used for multiplexed detection of nucleic acid and protein as the next generation of urinary tract infection diagnostics.
PMCID: PMC3204982  PMID: 22066011
11.  Electrochemical Immunosensor Detection of Urinary Lactoferrin in Clinical Samples for Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis 
Biosensors & bioelectronics  2010;26(2):649-654.
Urine is the most abundant and easily accessible of all body fluids and provides an ideal route for non-invasive diagnosis of human diseases, particularly of the urinary tract. Electrochemical biosensors are well suited for urinary diagnostics due to their excellent sensitivity, low cost, and ability to detect a wide variety of target molecules including nucleic acids and protein biomarkers. We report the development of an electrochemical immunosensor for direct detection of the urinary tract infection (UTI) biomarker lactoferrin from infected clinical samples. An electrochemical biosensor array with alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was used. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to characterize the mixed SAM, consisted of 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid and 6-mercapto-1-hexanol. A sandwich amperometric immunoassay was developed for detection of lactoferrin from urine, with a detection limit of 145 pg/ml. We validated lactoferrin as a biomarker of pyuria (presence of white blood cells in urine), an important hallmark of UTI, in 111 patient-derived urine samples. Finally, we demonstrated multiplex detection of urinary pathogens and lactoferrin through simultaneous detection of bacterial nucleic acid (16S rRNA) and host immune-response protein (lactoferrin) on a single sensor array. Our results represent first integrated sensor platform capable of quantitative pathogen identification and measurement of host immune response, potentially providing clinical diagnosis that is not only more expeditious but more informative than the current standard.
PMCID: PMC2946447  PMID: 20667707
Electrochemical biosensor; Amperometry; Urinary diagnostics; Urinary tract infections; Biomarkers
12.  Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Using High Surface-to-Volume Ratio Microchannels 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(3):1012.
This study reports the use of microfluidics, which intrinsically has a large surface-to-volume ratio, toward rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing at the point of care. By observing the growth of uropathogenic E. coli in gas permeable polymeric microchannels with different dimensions, we demonstrate that the large surface-to-volume ratio of microfluidic systems facilitates rapid growth of bacteria. For microchannels with 250 micrometer or less in depth, the effective oxygenation can sustain the growth of E. coli to over 109 cfu/ml without external agitation or oxygenation, which eliminates the requirement of bulky instrumentation and facilitates rapid bacterial growth for antimicrobial susceptibility testing at the point of care. The applicability of microfluidic rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing is demonstrated in culture media and in urine with clinical bacterial isolates that have different antimicrobial resistance profiles. The antimicrobial resistance pattern can be determined as rapidly as 2 hours compared to days in standard clinical procedures facilitating diagnostics at the point of care.
PMCID: PMC2821038  PMID: 20055494

Results 1-12 (12)