We have recently demonstrated a reagentless, electrochemical method - termed E-DNA sensors - that achieves the detection of anti-HIV antibodies directly in undiluted, unprocessed human blood serum at concentrations orders of magnitude lower than those seen in HIV-positive patient samples. The approach is rapid (sub-10 min), single-step, and quantitative, thus improving on the convenience and/or clinical value of existing point-of-care molecular diagnostics. Further speaking to its potential value, the approach is supported on micron-scale electrodes and can thus be multiplexed to the level of measuring dozens of diagnostic antibodies in a single finger-prick sample. Given these attributes, our technology appears well suited for applications that would derive value from the ability to measure quantitatively the levels of multiple antibodies outside of central laboratories The focus of the proposed research program is to test this hypothesis by performing the initial, pre-clinical validation of the E-DNA antibody detection platform. Specifically, we will fabricate E DNA arrays for the measurement of one to two dozen antibodies diagnostic of a panel of three sexually transmitted infections, and perform side-by-side comparison of these against current gold standard laboratory approaches when both are challenged using authentic human samples.

Public Health Relevance

There exists a critical need among physicians, public health agencies and the military to better monitor changes in the presence, prevalence, and spread of infectious diseases. In response we propose here the development and initial, pre-clinical validation of a technology for the rapid, multiplexed measurement of dozens of disease-specific antibodies in a single finger-prick blood sample. This quantitative, single-step, wash- and reagent-free device will report in less than 10 minutes, is driven by inexpensive, field-portable electronics (closely analogous to the home glucose meter), and operates at a cost of a few dollars per assay. In short, the proposed, technology will overcome the barriers that have historically relegated quantitative, multiplexed antibody detection to centralized facilities and move it to the point-of-care and into the field, greatly accelerating the delivery of actionable diagnostic information to front-line healthcare providers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Instrumentation and Systems Development Study Section (ISD)
Program Officer
Glock, Jonathan A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Santa Barbara
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Santa Barbara
United States
Zip Code
Li, Hui; Dauphin-Ducharme, Philippe; Ortega, Gabriel et al. (2017) Calibration-Free Electrochemical Biosensors Supporting Accurate Molecular Measurements Directly in Undiluted Whole Blood. J Am Chem Soc 139:11207-11213
Dauphin-Ducharme, Philippe; Arroyo-Currás, Netzahualcóyotl; Kurnik, Martin et al. (2017) Simulation-Based Approach to Determining Electron Transfer Rates Using Square-Wave Voltammetry. Langmuir 33:4407-4413
Li, Hui; Dauphin-Ducharme, Philippe; Arroyo-Currás, Netzahualcóyotl et al. (2017) A Biomimetic Phosphatidylcholine-Terminated Monolayer Greatly Improves the In Vivo Performance of Electrochemical Aptamer-Based Sensors. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 56:7492-7495
Kang, Di; Sun, Sheng; Kurnik, Martin et al. (2017) New Architecture for Reagentless, Protein-Based Electrochemical Biosensors. J Am Chem Soc 139:12113-12116
Ricci, Francesco; Vallée-Bélisle, Alexis; Simon, Anna J et al. (2016) Using Nature's ""Tricks"" To Rationally Tune the Binding Properties of Biomolecular Receptors. Acc Chem Res 49:1884-92
Kang, Di; Ricci, Francesco; White, Ryan J et al. (2016) Survey of Redox-Active Moieties for Application in Multiplexed Electrochemical Biosensors. Anal Chem 88:10452-10458
Dauphin-Ducharme, Philippe; Plaxco, Kevin W (2016) Maximizing the Signal Gain of Electrochemical-DNA Sensors. Anal Chem 88:11654-11662
Ranallo, Simona; Rossetti, Marianna; Plaxco, Kevin W et al. (2015) A Modular, DNA-Based Beacon for Single-Step Fluorescence Detection of Antibodies and Other Proteins. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 54:13214-8
Simon, Anna J; Vallée-Bélisle, Alexis; Ricci, Francesco et al. (2014) Using the population-shift mechanism to rationally introduce ""Hill-type"" cooperativity into a normally non-cooperative receptor. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 53:9471-5