The major goal of the proposed research is to develop a calibrated, compact, inexpensive, multiplexed, point- of-care sensing platform with combined fluorescence and label-free capabilities applicable to the field of medical diagnostics. Using sera from individuals with documented in vitro and clinical evidence of allergen- specific IgE as a model system, we will develop a point-of-care platform that combines our established label- free sensing technology with our enhanced fluorescence technology, Calibrated Fluorescence Enhancement (CaFE). We propose that this platform will more accurately and sensitively detect the presence of specific antibodies to proteins of interest. The point-of-care capability will allow efficient technology application and enhance patient care. Limitations of current tests reside in utilizing fluorescence measurements in a clinical or reference laboratory away from the point-of-care, while the probes capturing the proteins (e.g. antibodies) of interest have not been calibrated and vary from chip to chip. In addition, currently available quantitative label-free sensors are limited to sensitivity levels surpassing the noise floor of the device. This work will engineer a calibrated instrument, which incorporates dual modalities to improve upon existing diagnostic technology. While using allergy diagnostics as a model, the underlying technology is modular, and could be applied to immunodiagnostics of liver disease and autoimmune disease.
The goal of the proposed research is to develop a modular platform to more accurately diagnose medical conditions at the point of care. Many assays which detect pathologic antibodies in the blood rely on unknown quantities of 'capture'proteins to measure these antibodies. The proposed technology will quantify results calibrated against the directly measured amount of capture protein, all at the point-of-care and in the context of a physician visit.
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