Connect with us

Spread & Containment

Harvard Wyss Institute’s eRapid multiplexed biosensor technology licensed to StataDX to enable new diagnostics for neurological, cardiovascular, and renal diseases

By Benjamin Boettner Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University By Benjamin Boettner (BOSTON) — Today the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired…

Published

on

By Benjamin Boettner

Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

By Benjamin Boettner

(BOSTON) — Today the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Cambridge-based StataDX Inc. announce that the Wyss Institute’s affinity-based, multiplexed, electrochemical sensing technology, eRapid, has been licensed to the startup. The license, coordinated by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD), grants StataDX exclusive worldwide access to the eRapid technology in the fields of neurological, cardiovascular, and renal diseases. Sanjay Sharma Timilsina, Ph.D., and Nolan Durr, two key members of the Wyss Institute research team that extensively de-risked the technology, are joining two of StataDX’s external co-founders, Sidhant Jena, CEO and Michal Depa, CTO. The team will focus on developing diagnostic tests that can address critical unmet diagnostic needs in various near-patient settings, such as physician offices, pharmacies and eventually at home. 

“We developed and de-risked this multiplexed electrochemical sensor technology that exhibits extremely high sensitivity and specificity, working together with multiple academic, clinical, and industrial collaborators,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D. “Our team of highly talented research engineers who developed this technology have partnered with a passionate and seasoned entrepreneurial leadership team to form a new venture aiming to pioneer point-of-care diagnostics in areas that utterly lack them now, such as detection of traumatic brain injury in sports or on the battlefield. These ultimately could result in life-changing and life-saving outcomes for patients with a vast range of diseases.”

Ingber also leads the Wyss Institute’s Bioinspired Therapeutics and Diagnostics Platform, where eRapid was conceived and developed, and is the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Bioinspired Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The multidisciplinary eRapid team at the Wyss Institute led by Wyss Senior Staff Scientist Pawan Jolly, Ph.D., and Ingber developed the affinity-based electrochemical sensor technology as a low-cost multiplexed diagnostics platform that can simultaneously detect and quantify a broad range of biomarkers with high sensitivity and selectivity in a small volume of blood or other complex biological fluids. Ingber and Jolly are two of StataDX’s co-founders. Along with Jolly, Timilsina and Durr both were instrumental in advancing the eRapid platform through the Wyss Institute’s translation engine, and they now bring their expertise to StataDX’s engineering team and the commercialization process. Jolly presently is a consultant to StataDX.

“I am excited to team up with technical leads from the Wyss and my co-founder Michal Depa to take diagnostics to its final frontier—the patient’s home. While there are many at-home tests for viral diseases such as COVID-19 available today, nothing yet exists for patients with complex chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, heart failure or chronic kidney disease that need periodic measurements of multiple biomarkers. The approach enabled by eRapid addresses underlying limitations of electrochemical biosensing in an elegant way, which may overcome the challenge faced by so many promising diagnostic technologies – the successful transfer to manufacturing at scale,” said Sidhant Jena, CEO and co-founder of StataDX. “Our decision to pursue neurology first stems from the significant healthcare burden of an aging population and the complete absence of a fingerprick blood test for the brain.” 

The foundational discovery that started the development of eRapid was a novel antifouling nanocomposite coating that enables electrochemical electrodes to withstand the attack of biofouling molecules contained in various biofluids, including blood, and thereby maintains the electrodes’ sensing capabilities and minimizes any electrochemical background signal. Biofouling poses a pervasive challenge to the development of electrochemistry-based diagnostics, which could be used to solve important diagnostic problems. 

By converting their original gold-based chemistry to a graphene-nanocomposite chemistry, the team further enhanced eRapid’s biomarker detection efficiency, and by developing a “dip coating method,” they reduced the time needed for coating sensor surfaces with the improved antifouling nanocomposite from 24 hours down to less than a minute. The advanced coating process dramatically reduced the fabrication costs for eRapid sensors and, in addition, made them storable for an extended period of time with minimal loss of electric signal. This increased their usefulness for future point-of-care diagnostic assays as testing can be done remotely and read on-site or sent to a central laboratory for analysis. Most recently, the team presented a comprehensive framework for developing highly effective diagnostic electrochemical sensors, using a broadened range of surface materials that prevent biofouling and enhance detection of a variety of biomarkers, including the neurofilament-light (NFL) protein, which is gaining interest as a potential diagnostic biomarker for multiple sclerosis. 

Importantly, the coating can be used to embed probes for a broad range of biomarkers, including proteins, antibodies, metabolites, hormones, and RNA molecules that can be simultaneously detected in multiplexed electrode arrangements. “Upon chemically detecting a target biomarker, eRapid sensors produce electrical signals within minutes that correlate in strength with the levels of the bound biomarkers, much like a commercial glucometer used by diabetic patients does today, but with multiplexing capability,” said Timilsina. “This opens up a vast diagnostic space, given that many multifactorial diseases and disorders require simultaneous measurement of multiple biomarkers with high sensitivity and specificity in order to accurately diagnose, stratify, and monitor patients.”

“We showed in our extensive de-risking process at the Wyss Institute that the eRapid platform can address diverse live-threatening diseases and conditions with multiplexed biomarker measurements for which no accurate diagnosis existed before,” said Jolly. “This is one of the most promising forays of an electrochemical sensing technology into commercial stages with the prospect to fill important diagnostic gaps in critical areas with unmet needs,” Jolly also is the technology lead of the Wyss Diagnostic Accelerator (Wyss DxA) led by Wyss Core Faculty member David Walt, Ph.D. and Wyss Principal Scientist Rushdy Ahmad, Ph.D., an Institute initiative that enables the fast creation and validation of diagnostic technologies to solve pressing clinical problems through deep collaboration with clinicians and industry partners. 

The early development stages of the eRapid technology were funded by a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant awarded to Ingber that focused on building a human body on-a-chip, as well as the KeepSmilin4Abbie Foundation as part of Project Abbie. After the initial eRapid-enabling discoveries, the team advanced the technology through Wyss Institute-funded Validation and Institute Projects, reserved for technical and commercial de-risking of Institute technologies with high translational potential. In 2021, as part of Boston’s biotech ecosystem, the team obtained additional funding from MassVentures after being selected as the winner of its MALSI+ competition, which “is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ flagship event connecting scientific innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to celebrate the many ways Massachusetts leads the nation in bringing translational science to the market.”

PRESS CONTACTS

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
Benjamin Boettner, benjamin.boettner@wyss.harvard.edu, +1 617-432-8232

 

Harvard Office of Technology Development

Caroline Perry, caroline_perry@harvard.edu, +1 617-495-4157

 

StataDX Inc.

 


contact@statadx.com, +1 617-871-9837

 

###

 

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (www.wyss.harvard.edu) is a research and development engine for disruptive innovation powered by biologically-inspired engineering with visionary people at its heart. Our mission is to transform healthcare and the environment by developing ground-breaking technologies that emulate the way Nature builds and accelerate their translation into commercial products through formation of startups and corporate partnerships to bring about positive near-term impact in the world. We accomplish this by breaking down the traditional silos of academia and barriers with industry, enabling our world-leading faculty to collaborate creatively across our focus areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, medtech, and sustainability. Our consortium partners encompass the leading academic institutions and hospitals in the Boston area and throughout the world, including Harvard’s Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences and Design, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston University, Tufts University, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Zürich, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

About Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development. Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) promotes the public good by fostering innovation and translating new inventions made at Harvard University into useful products that are available and beneficial to society. Our integrated approach to technology development comprises sponsored research and corporate alliances, intellectual property management, and technology commercialization through venture creation and licensing. More than 90 startups have launched to commercialize Harvard technologies in the past 5 years, collectively raising more than $4.5 billion in financing. To further bridge the academic-industry development gap, Harvard OTD manages the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and the Physical Sciences & Engineering Accelerator. For more information, please visit https://otd.harvard.edu.

 

 

 


Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spread & Containment

Las Vegas Strip Gets a Brand New Technology

It’s not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. A number of other companies are trying big idea.

Published

on

It's not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. A number of other companies are trying big idea.

Las Vegas has quietly become a hotbed for innovation. Some of that has been driven by the major casino operators -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report -- trying to outdo each other to win over customers.

Some innovations are ostentatious and hard to miss, like the MSG (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report Sphere being built at the Venetian. That first-of-its-kind concert venue looks as if it dropped to Earth from a technologically advanced civilization, and it has raised the bar for performance venues.

Many innovations, however, aren't as obvious. Caesars, for example, uses an artificial intelligence text-based concierge that's surprisingly effective. "Ivy," as it goes by, can answer questions, help with mundane tasks like getting clean towels delivered, or advance your issue to a human where needed.

Innovations big and small are happening up, down, and under the Las Vegas Strip. Elon Musk's Boring Co. has been building a network of tunnels under the city that will eventually use driverless Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report electric vehicles to ferry people all over the city. 

That's a revolutionary idea -- but now a rival has emerged.  

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet

Musk Goes Low, Lyft Goes High?

Musk's Boring Co. has a bold plan for more than 50 stations connecting the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, the Convention Center, Allegiant Stadium, and Fremont Street using driverless Teslas. 

Currently, only a small portion of that network has been built -- a section connecting the two halves of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and one connecting Resorts World Las Vegas to that same location.

For Musk and Boring Co., it's all about taking traffic off the city's busy streets and bringing it underground.

"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company says on its website.

If Musk's plan is fully built, it'll effectively give Las Vegas a modern subway, helping alleviate road congestion. It will not, however, stop tourists from using ride-share and taxi cabs.

Now, ride-share company Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc. Report has brought a solution to Sin City that may ultimately help it solve another problem: a shortage of taxi and ride-share drivers. 

Lyft Brings Driverless Cars (Sort of) to Las Vegas

Labor in Las Vegas has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. Some people left the city and others found work outside the service-industry jobs that fuel the Las Vegas economy. At times, that has made the wait for a cab, or a ride-share from Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report and Lyft, longer than usual.

Lyft plans to fix that by partnering with Motional to bring Motional's "Ioniq-5-based robotaxi, an autonomous vehicle designed for fully driverless ride-hail operation, to the Lyft network in Las Vegas," the ride-share company shared in a news release.

The Ioniq 5 is Hyundai's  (HYMTF)  prominent EV. Motional is the Boston joint venture between Hyundai and automotive-technology specialist Aptiv.  (APTV) - Get Aptiv PLC Report

"Launching Motional’s all-electric Ioniq 5 on Lyft’s network in Las Vegas represents tremendous progress in our vision to make an electric, autonomous, and shared future a reality for people everywhere," said  Lyft CEO Logan Green.

It's Self-Driving Lyfts, But...

There is, however, a pretty big catch.

"Each vehicle arrives with not one but two backup drivers standing by to take control of the car should anything go wrong" Casino.org's Corey Levitan reported.

Lyft has promised a truly driverless system at some point in 2023, but current laws and the state of driverless technology make the backups necessary.

Motional and Lyft have quietly been testing driverless vehicles in Las Vegas since 2018. In the news release, Lyft explained how the system works.

"This means riders are able to easily control their ride without assistance from a driver. The enhanced experience includes unlocking the doors through the Lyft app and starting the ride or contacting customer support from the new in-car Lyft AV app, an intuitive in-ride display tailored to autonomous ride-sharing," the company said.

Lyft and Boring Co. are not working together. But if Musk's plan takes vehicles off Las Vegas's streets, the new program makes the experience better for any that remain. 

Ride sharing and taxis will continue to cost significantly more than using Boring Co's subway-like system, so it's easy to see how the two options will work well together.   .

 

  

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Strip Plan Has Some Competition

It’s not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.

Published

on

It's not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.

Las Vegas has quietly become a hotbed for innovation. Some of that has been driven by the major casino operators -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report -- trying to outdo each other to win over customers.

Some innovations are ostentatious and hard to miss, like the MSG (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report Sphere being built at the Venetian. That first-of-its-kind concert venue looks as if it dropped to Earth from a technologically advanced civilization, and it has raised the bar for performance venues.

Many innovations, however, aren't as obvious. Caesars, for example, uses an artificial intelligence text-based concierge that's surprisingly effective. "Ivy," as it goes by, can answer questions, help with mundane tasks like getting clean towels delivered, or advance your issue to a human where needed.

Innovations big and small are happening up, down, and under the Las Vegas Strip. Elon Musk's Boring Co. has been building a network of tunnels under the city that will eventually use driverless Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report electric vehicles to ferry people all over the city. 

That's a revolutionary idea -- but now a rival has emerged.  

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet

Musk Goes Low, Lyft Goes High?

Musk's Boring Co. has a bold plan for more than 50 stations connecting the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, the Convention Center, Allegiant Stadium, and Fremont Street using driverless Teslas. 

Currently, only a small portion of that network has been built -- a section connecting the two halves of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and one connecting Resorts World Las Vegas to that same location.

For Musk and Boring Co., it's all about taking traffic off the city's busy streets and bringing it underground.

"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company says on its website.

If Musk's plan is fully built, it'll effectively give Las Vegas a modern subway, helping alleviate road congestion. It will not, however, stop tourists from using ride-share and taxi cabs.

Now, ride-share company Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc. Report has brought a solution to Sin City that may ultimately help it solve another problem: a shortage of taxi and ride-share drivers. 

Lyft Brings Driverless Cars (Sort of) to Las Vegas

Labor in Las Vegas has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. Some people left the city and others found work outside the service-industry jobs that fuel the Las Vegas economy. At times, that has made the wait for a cab, or a ride-share from Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report and Lyft, longer than usual.

Lyft plans to fix that by partnering with Motional to bring Motional's "Ioniq-5-based robotaxi, an autonomous vehicle designed for fully driverless ride-hail operation, to the Lyft network in Las Vegas," the ride-share company shared in a news release.

The Ioniq 5 is Hyundai's  (HYMTF)  prominent EV. Motional is the Boston joint venture between Hyundai and automotive-technology specialist Aptiv.  (APTV) - Get Aptiv PLC Report

"Launching Motional’s all-electric Ioniq 5 on Lyft’s network in Las Vegas represents tremendous progress in our vision to make an electric, autonomous, and shared future a reality for people everywhere," said  Lyft CEO Logan Green.

An Important Caveat

There is, however, a pretty big catch.

"Each vehicle arrives with not one but two backup drivers standing by to take control of the car should anything go wrong" Casino.org's Corey Levitan reported.

Lyft has promised a truly driverless system at some point in 2023, but current laws and the state of driverless technology make the backups necessary.

Motional and Lyft have quietly been testing driverless vehicles in Las Vegas since 2018. In the news release, Lyft explained how the system works.

"This means riders are able to easily control their ride without assistance from a driver. The enhanced experience includes unlocking the doors through the Lyft app and starting the ride or contacting customer support from the new in-car Lyft AV app, an intuitive in-ride display tailored to autonomous ride-sharing," the company said.

Lyft and Boring Co. are not working together. But if Musk's plan takes vehicles off Las Vegas's streets, the new program makes the experience better for any that remain. 

Ride sharing and taxis will continue to cost significantly more than using Boring Co's subway-like system, so it's easy to see how the two options will work well together.   .

 

  

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Exosomes Could Improve Inhaled Therapeutics

Instead of disguising vaccines in synthetic lipid nanoparticles, researchers used exosomes as their drug delivery vehicles to the lung. The exosomes are…

Published

on

For respiratory diseases, from asthma to COVID-19, inhaled treatments can quickly deliver a drug to the desired target, the lungs. Global health depends on such treatments. As Kristen Popowski, a PhD candidate in comparative biomedical sciences at the North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, and her colleagues wrote: “Respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remaining prevalent in the ongoing pandemic.”

Kristen Popowski [North Carolina State University]
Although lipid nanoparticles offer one delivery vehicle for such treatments, nature creates an obstacle. “The lung has natural defense mechanisms against inhaled particulates, and traditional lipid-nanoparticle vaccines present challenges in cytotoxicity and respiratory clearance,” says Popowski. “A nanoparticle formulation that can withstand these defense mechanisms remains a critical challenge.” So, Popowski and her colleagues explored an alternative approach.

“Instead of disguising vaccines in synthetic lipid nanoparticles, we utilize cell-secreted nanoparticles called exosomes as our drug delivery vehicles to the lung,” Popowski explains. “Our exosomes are secreted from native lung cells and are recognizable by the lung.”

Consequently, she says, “We can minimize pulmonary toxicity and clearance to better deliver and retain vaccines.” In addition, the exosome-based treatments developed by Popowski and her colleagues can be formulated as a dry powder that requires no refrigeration and can have a shelf life of 28 days.

Despite the incentives to take an exosome-based approach to inhaled treatments for respiratory diseases, turning that into a part of bioprocessing requires more research.

“Although commercial manufacturing of exosomes has recently shown extensive improvement, optimization of mRNA loading into exosomes remains a challenge,” Popowski says. “Endogenous mRNA expression through exosome engineering would likely be necessary for large-scale production.”

The post Exosomes Could Improve Inhaled Therapeutics appeared first on GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending