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Radiation Biodosimetry

Current strategies for minimally-invasive biodosimetry rely on the establishment of centralized testing centers with high-throughput assay processing. Patient samples must be collected and transported to a testing center, with transportation networks often compromised alongside a nuclear accident. A point-of-care biodosimetry platform would allow on-site dose quantitation, facilitating appropriate medical triage and emergency management. This is a critical and unmet need for the preparation and response to a nuclear release event.

I currently lead an effort to adapt the FBAR-CMOS sensor array for point-of-care radiation biodosimetry at the emerging bioelectronic company Bialanx. This work is supported by a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant. Our aim is to develop a personal radiation biodosimetry platform for point-of-care assessment of radiation exposure. This utilizes a novel sensor array platform that will enable label-free biomarker quantification in a low-cost, active-disposable format. This technology leverages the power and economies of scale of integrated circuits, built up over the previous fifty years for high-performance computation and imaging, for low-cost, bioelectronic applications. 

Thin-film bulk acoustic resonators (FBARs) are incorporated directly with silicon integrated circuits to form a dense biosensor array. Integration with a custom microchip enables parallel measurement of dozens of sensors in a few square millimeters. Combined with antibody immobilization, this enables multiplex protein assays in real time through a simple digital interface. Phase I of this effort will demonstrate a sensitive bioelectronic assay for the established radiation exposure marker gamma-H2A.X to assess feasibility of the technology for biodosimetry applications. This effort includes the development of a lysate-based gamma-H2A.X immunosorbent assay, adaptation of this assay to the sensor platform, and demonstration of the integrated biodosimetry device. 

A portable biodosimetry device would be pre-deployed to areas at risk for nuclear release and radiation exposure, including urban centers, nuclear reactor sites, hospitals, and local clinics. In the long term, the underlying technology employed here will lay the foundation for a host of multiplexed point-of-care applications, with clear clinical and commercial opportunities in infectious disease, cancer diagnostics, autoimmune disease monitoring, trauma response, and in-the-field medical testing.

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