A liquid biopsy platform combining a high fundamental frequency QCM device with dynamic chemistry for detecting mutations in circulating DNA

Authors: A. Grammoustianou, G. Papadakis, M. Tabraue, J.J. Díaz-Mochon, R. Fernández, J.V. García, A. Arnau, E. Gizeli. AWSensors S.L., Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology- FORTH, University of Crete, Destina Genomics S.L., Centro de Investigación e Innovación en Bioingeniería – Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Event:  5th International Conference on Bio-sensing Technology, Riva del Garda, Italy (2017)

In the past decade, the analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in blood has been a major breakthrough; ctDNA has been proposed as a priceless source for cancer diagnostic, prognostic and treatment monitoring through a new methodology known as “Liquid Biopsy”. This study presents a novel diagnostic method for the acoustic detection of KRAS mutations in ctDNAs based on: (1) DNA analysis by “dynamic chemistry” that utilizes aldehyde modified nucleobases (SMART) and abasic peptide nucleic acids (DGL probes) capable for the errorfree detection of nucleic acids and their mutations; and, (2) a high fundamental frequency (100 MHz) acoustic wave microsensor (AWS HFF-QCM) that allows the accurate, inexpensive, label-free and real time monitoring of the “dynamic chemistry”. Surface-immobilized DGL probes on the AWS HFF-QCM device are used to detect ctDNAs of wild type and mutated KRAS variants. Upon hybridization of the DGL probe with its target ssDNA, a duplex is formed where biotin- tagged SMART bases can lock in front of the position under interrogation; streptavidin binding detected in a follow-up step confirms the presence of the SMART bases. The use of DGL probes in combination with an isothermal DNA amplification step RPA) have allowed the sensitive and specific recognition of single mismatches in KRAS genes in less than 1 hour. This work presents a unique and novel technology that can emerge as a promising tool in the field of cancer diagnostics.

Liquid Biopsy detection protocol

Schema for complete detection protocol:

(A) Extracted DNA containing mutant (red) and wild type DNA fragments (black) are enzymatically amplified.

(B) Denatured amplicons are hybridized on surface immobilized DGL probes. Chemical locking of a specific tagged SMART base takes place only in the appropriate position.

(C) Incorporated SMART bases are recognized by streptavidin and monitored in real-time during an acoustic measurement.

A High Fundamental Frequency QCM Immunosensor for Tuberculosis Detection

AWSensors biosensor for tuberculosis detection


Authors: Ángel Montoya, Carmen March, Yeison J. Montagut, Maria J. Moreno, Juan J. Manclus, Antonio Arnau, Yolanda Jiménez, Marisol Jaramillo, Paula A. Marin, Robinson A. Torres

Journal:  Current topics in Medicinal Chemistry (2017)

Background: Tuberculosis, one of the oldest diseases affecting human beings, is still considered as a world public health problem by the World Health Organization.

Method & Material: Therefore, there is a need for new and more powerful analytical methods for early illness diagnosis. With this idea in mind, the development of a High Fundamental Frequency (HFF) piezoelectric immunosensor for the sensitive detection of tuberculosis was undertaken. A 38 kDa protein secreted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis was first selected as the target biomarker. Then, specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were obtained. Myc-31 MAb, which showed the highest affinity to the analyte, was employed to set up a reference enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a limit of detection of 14 ng mL-1 of 38 kDa antigen.

Results & Discussion: For the development of the HFF piezoelectric immunosensor, 100 MHz AWSensors quartz crystals were used as transducer elements. The gold electrode surface was functionalized by covalent immobilization of the target biomarker through mixed self-assembled monolayers (mSAM) of carboxylic alkane thiols. A competitive immunoassay based on Myc-31 MAb was integrated with the transducer as sensing bio-recognition event. Reliable assay signals were obtained using low concentrations of antigen for functionalization and MAb for the competitive immunoassay. Under optimized conditions, the HFF immunosensor calibration curve for 38 kDa determination showed a limit of detection as low as 11 ng mL-1 of the biomarker. The high detectability attained by this immunosensor, in the picomolar range, makes it a promising tool for the easy, direct and sensitive detection of the tuberculosis biomarker in biological fluids such as sputum.

You may review the full paper here

Dynamic Resolution of Ion Transfer in Electrochemically Reduced Graphene Oxides Revealed by Electrogravimetric Impedance

Authors: Hamza Goubaa, Freddy Escobar-Teran, Ibtissam Ressam, Wanli Gao, Abdelkrim el Kadib, Ivan T. Lucas, Mustapha Raihane, Mohammed Lahcini, Hubert Perrot, Ozlem Sel. Sorbonne Université, UPMC, Univ Paris 06, CNRS, France. Laboratoire Interfaces et Systèmes Électroquimiques; Université Cadi Ayyad, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Laboratoire de Chimie Organométallique et Macromoléculaire Matériaux composites, Marrakech, Morocco.

Journal:  The Journal of Physical Chemistry (2017)

To accompany the search for optimal materials in electrochemical supercapacitors, appropriate characterization tools to assess key parameters of newly developed electrodes are required. Here we demonstrate the capabilities of ac-mode electrogravimetry to study in details the capacitive charge storage mechanisms in electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO) thin films electrodes. The coupling of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) with fast quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) complements classical electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) by capturing here the dynamics of the electroadsorption process, identifying charged moieties and detecting solvation effects. We evidenced the co-electroadsorption of two types of cationic species (fully and partially hydrated cations) in the potential range studied and the indirect intervention of free solvent molecules. Further kinetic information on electroadsorption is also obtained which leads to a full deconvolution of the global EQCM response at both gravimetric and temporal level. Through a fine analysis of the interactions of different cations of period one elements, Li+, Na+ and Kwith ERGO, we evidenced the critical role of solvation processes on the kinetics of electroadsorption, and provided an experimental proof to the phenomena that smaller ions are more tightly bound to their water molecules such that an inverse relationship exists between the dehydration energy and the ion size. Such gravimetric and dynamic subleties are unreachable with classical tools and with EQCM method alone which permits us to suggest the ac-mode electrogravimetry as a baseline diagnostic tool to explore charge transfer mechanisms at the nanoscale.

Electrochemical and viscoelastic evolution of dodecyl sulfate-doped polypyrrole films during electrochemical cycling

Authors: Wanli Gao, Ozlem Sel, Hubert Perrot

Journal:  Electrochimica Acta (2017)

The correlation between electrochemical and viscoelastic properties of electrodeposited dodecysulfatedoped polypyrrole (PPy-DS) during electrochemical cycling process was described through combining electrochemical quartz-crystal microbalance (EQCM), ac-electrogravimetric characterizations and electroacoustic measurements. as the PPy-DS electrode evolves during the course of consecutive cycling in aqueous NaCI electrolyte, the film exhibits (i) an obvious ion-selective transition from cations to anions in the charge compensation process; (ii) an inferior electrochemical performance accompanied with increased stiffness (increased storaged moduli, G’); and (iii) depleted capability of ionic exchange through film/electrolyte interface. PPy-DS conducting polymer electrodes (CPEs) are of interest in energy storage and the relationship between electrochemical and viscoelastic properties during electrochemical cycling process is essential for promoting the performance of these devices. In this perspective, ac-electrogravimetry combined with electroacoustic measurements can be suggested as an alternative method to synchronously probe the electrochemical and mechanical evolution and has the potential to offer a generalized route to study aging mechanism of CPEs.


pH Controlled Electrochemical Deposition of Polyelectrolyte Complex Films

Authors: Kazi Sadman, Qifeng Wang, Shawn H Chen, David Efim Delgado and Kenneth R Shull. Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, US

Journal:  Langmuir, American Chemical Society (2017)

Polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) films made from oppositely charged polymer chains have applications as drug delivery vehicles, separation membranes, and biocompatible coatings. Conventional layer-by-layer (LbL) techniques for polyelectrolyte coatings are low-throughput and multistep processes that are quite slow for building films on the order of micrometers. In this work, PEC films are electrochemically deposited using a rapid one-pot method yielding thick (1 μm) films within short experimental time scales (5 min). This rapid electrodeposition is achieved by exploiting the reduction of hydrogen peroxide at mild electrode potentials that avoid water electrolysis, yet trigger the pH responsive self-assembly of a PEC film composed of poly(acrylic) acid and poly (allylamine) HCl. In-situ rheology using an electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) quantified the shear modulus-density product of the deposited layer to be on the order of 107 Pa-g/cm3 at a frequency of 15 MHz, with a viscoelastic phase angle at this frequency of approximately 50. This electrodeposition scheme furthers the development of PEC coatings for more high-throughput applications where a fast and efficient single step approach would be desirable for obtaining coatings.