[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors can rapidly detect Ebola antigens at the point-of-care without the need for added reagents, sample processing, or specialized personnel. This preliminary study demonstrates SAW biosensor detection of the Ebola virus in a concentration-dependent manner. The detection limit with this methodology is below the average level of viremia detected on the first day of symptoms by PCR. We observe a log-linear sensor response for highly fragmented Ebola viral particles, with a detection limit corresponding to 1.9 × 104 PFU/mL prior to virus inactivation. We predict greatly improved sensitivity for intact, infectious Ebola virus. This point-of-care methodology has the potential to detect Ebola viremia prior to symptom onset, greatly enabling infection control and rapid treatment. This biosensor platform is powered by disposable AA batteries and can be rapidly adapted to detect other emerging diseases in austere conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As new magnetic nanoparticle-based technologies are developed and new target cells are identified, there is a critical need to understand the features important for magnetic isolation of specific cells in fluids, an increasingly important tool in disease research and diagnosis. To investigate magnetic cell collection, cell-sized spherical microparticles, coated with superparamagnetic nanoparticles, were suspended in (1) glycerine–water solutions, chosen to approximate the range of viscosities of bone marrow, and (2) water in which 3, 5, 10 and 100% of the total suspended microspheres are coated with magnetic nanoparticles, to model collection of rare magnetic nanoparticle-coated cells from a mixture of cells in a fluid. The magnetic microspheres were collected on a magnetic needle, and we demonstrate that the collection efficiency versus time can be modeled using a simple, heuristically-derived function, with three physically-significant parameters. The function enables experimentally-obtained collection efficiencies to be scaled to extract the effective drag of the suspending medium. The results of this analysis demonstrate that the effective drag scales linearly with fluid viscosity, as expected. Surprisingly, increasing the number of non-magnetic microspheres in the suspending fluid results increases the collection of magnetic microspheres, corresponding to a decrease in the effective drag of the medium.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), multidrug resistance is often mediated by ATPase Binding Cassette (ABC) proteins, which principally involve ABCB1 (multidrug resistance 1, MDR1) and ABCC1 (multidrug resistance protein 1, MRP1). However, direct comparisons between the differential effects of ABCB1 and ABCC1 have been difficult, since identical cell lines with differential expression of these transporters have not been developed.
In this study, we developed and compared the biological profiles of Jurkat cell lines that selectively over-expressed ABCB1 and ABCC1. Vincristine (VCR) plays an important role in the treatment of T-lineage ALL (T-ALL), and is often the first drug given to newly-diagnosed patients. Because of its importance in treatment, we provided escalating, sub-lethal doses of VCR to Jurkat cells, and extended our observations to expression profiling of newly diagnosed patients with T-ALL.
We found that VCR-resistant cells over-expressed ABCC1 nearly 30-fold. The calcein AM assay confirmed that VCR-resistant cells actively extruded VCR, and that ABCC1-mediated drug resistance conferred a different spectrum of multidrug resistance than other T-ALL induction agents. siRNA experiments that blocked ABCC1 export confirmed that VCR resistance could be reversed in vitro. Analyses of T-lymphoblasts obtained from 92 newly diagnosed T-ALL patients treated on Children's Oncology Group Phase III studies 8704/9404 showed that induction failure could be explained in all but one case by the over-expression of ABCB1 or ABCC1.
Taken together, these results suggest that over-expression of ABC transporters plays a contributing role in mediating treatment failure in T-ALL, and underscore the need to employ alternate treatment approaches in patients for whom induction failed or for those with relapsed disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disasters can create situations in which blood donations can save lives. However, in emergency situations and when resources
are depleted, on-site blood donations require the rapid and accurate detection of blood-borne pathogens, including human immunodeficiency
virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2). Techniques such as PCR and antibody capture by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
(ELISA) for HIV-1 and HIV-2 are precise but time-consuming and require sophisticated equipment that is not compatible with
emergency point-of-care requirements. We describe here a prototype biosensor based on piezoelectric materials functionalized
with specific antibodies against HIV-1 and HIV-2. We show the rapid and accurate detection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 in both simple
and complex solutions, including human serum, and in the presence of a cross-confounding virus. We report detection limits
of 12 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50s) for HIV-1 and 87 TCID50s for HIV-2. The accuracy, precision of measurements, and operation of the prototype biosensor compared favorably to those
for nucleic acid amplification. We conclude that the biosensor has significant promise as a successful point-of-care diagnostic
device for use in emergency field applications requiring rapid and reliable testing for blood-borne pathogens.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of clinical microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATP binding cassette (ABC)3 transmembrane efflux pumps such as P-glycoprotein (ABCB1), multidrug resistance protein 1 (ABCC1), and breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) play an important role in anticancer drug resistance. A large number of structurally and functionally diverse compounds act as substrates or modulators of these pumps. In vitro assessment of the affinity of drug candidates for multidrug resistance proteins is central to predict in vivo pharmacokinetics and drug-drug interactions. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize new substrates for these transporters. As part of a collaborative project with Life Technologies™, 102 fluorescent probes were investigated in a flow cytometric screen of ABC transporters. The primary screen compared substrate efflux activity in parental cell lines to their corresponding highly expressing resistant counterparts. The fluorescent compound library included a range of excitation/emission profiles and required dual laser excitation as well as multiple fluorescence detection channels. A total of 31 substrates with active efflux in one or more pump, and practical fluorescence response ranges were identified and tested for interaction with 8 known inhibitors. This screening approach provides an efficient tool for identification and characterization of new fluorescent substrates for ABCB1, ABCC1, and ABCG2.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Analytical Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive leukemia with high relapse rates compared to B-lineage ALL. We previously showed that HMGA1a transgenic mice develop aggressive T-ALL, indicating that HMGA1 causes leukemic transformation in vivo. HMGA1 is also highly expressed in embryonic stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, and diverse, refractory human cancers. Disruption of the CDKN2A tumor suppressor locus occurs in most cases of T-ALL and is thought to contribute to leukemic transformation. To determine if loss of function of CDKN2A cooperates with HMGA1 in T-ALL, we crossed HMGA1a transgenics onto a Cdkn2a null background. We discovered that T-ALL is markedly accelerated in HMGA1a transgenic Cdkn2a null mice. In addition, these mice recapitulate salient clinical and pathologic features of human T-ALL. HMGA1 is also highly overexpressed in human T-ALL. These findings suggest that HMGA1 plays a causative role in T-ALL and could represent a rational therapeutic target.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Leukemia & lymphoma
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organ transplantation is a life-saving procedure and the preferred method of treatment for a growing number of disease states. The advent of new immunosuppressants and improved care has led to great advances in both patient and graft survival. However, acute T-cell mediated graft rejection occurs in a significant quantity of recipients and remains a life threatening condition. Acute rejection is associated with decrease in long term graft survival, demonstrating a need to carefully monitor transplant patients. Current diagnostic criteria for transplant rejection rely on invasive tissue biopsies or relatively non-specific clinical features. A non-invasive way is needed to detect, localize and monitor transplant rejection. Capitalizing on advances in targeted contrast agents and magnetic-based detection technology, we developed anti-CD3 antibody-tagged nanoparticles. T cells were found to bind preferentially to antibody-tagged nanoparticles, as identified through light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Using mouse skin graft models, we were also able to demonstrate in vivo vascular delivery of T-cell targeted nanoparticles. We conclude that targeting lymphocytes with magnetic nanoparticles is conducive to developing a novel, noninvasive strategy for identifying transplant rejection.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Cell Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotherapeutics tumor resistance is a principal reason for treatment failure, and clinical and experimental data indicate that multidrug transporters such as ATP-binding cassette (ABC) B1 and ABCG2 play a leading role by preventing cytotoxic intracellular drug concentrations. Functional efflux inhibition of existing chemotherapeutics by these pumps continues to present a promising approach for treatment. A contributing factor to the failure of existing inhibitors in clinical applications is limited understanding of specific substrate/inhibitor/pump interactions. We have identified selective efflux inhibitors by profiling multiple ABC transporters against a library of small molecules to find molecular probes to further explore such interactions. In our primary screening protocol using JC-1 as a dual-pump fluorescent reporter substrate, we identified a piperazine-substituted pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine substructure with promise for selective efflux inhibition. As a result of a focused structure-activity relationship (SAR)-driven chemistry effort, we describe compound 1 (CID44640177), an efflux inhibitor with selectivity toward ABCG2 over ABCB1. Compound 1 is also shown to potentiate the activity of mitoxantrone in vitro as well as preliminarily in vivo in an ABCG2-overexpressing tumor model. At least two analogues significantly reduce tumor size in combination with the chemotherapeutic topotecan. To our knowledge, low nanomolar chemoreversal activity coupled with direct evidence of efflux inhibition for ABCG2 is unprecedented.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Biomolecular Screening
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetic relaxometry methods have been shown to be very sensitive in detecting cancer cells and other targeted diseases. Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) sensors are one of the primary sensor systems used in this methodology because of their high sensitivity with demonstrated capabilities of detecting fewer than 100,000 magnetically-labeled cancer cells. The emerging technology of atomic magnetometers (AM) represents a new detection method for magnetic relaxometry with high sensitivity and without the requirement for cryogens. We report here on a study of magnetic relaxometry using both AM and SQUID sensors to detect cancer cells that are coated with superparamagnetic nanoparticles through antibody targeting. The AM studies conform closely to SQUID sensor results in the measurement of the magnetic decay characteristics following a magnetization pulse. The AM and SQUID sensor data are well described theoretically for superparamagnetic particles bound to cells and the results can be used to determine the number of cells in a cell culture or tumor. The observed fields and magnetic moments of cancer cells are linear with the number of cells over a very large range. The AM sensor demonstrates very high sensitivity for detecting magnetically labeled cells does not require cryogenic cooling and is relatively inexpensive.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both magnetic relaxometry and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect and locate targeted magnetic nanoparticles, non-invasively and without ionizing radiation. Magnetic relaxometry offers advantages in terms of its specificity (only nanoparticles are detected) and the linear dependence of the relaxometry signal on the number of nanoparticles present. In this study, detection of single-core iron oxide nanoparticles by Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID)-detected magnetic relaxometry and standard 4.7 T MRI are compared. The nanoparticles were conjugated to a Her2 monoclonal antibody and targeted to Her2-expressing MCF7/Her2-18 breast cancer cells); binding of the nanoparticles to the cells was assessed by magnetic relaxometry and iron assay. The same nanoparticle-labeled cells, serially diluted, were
used to assess the detection limits and MR relaxivities. The detection limit of magnetic relaxometry was 125,000 nanoparticle-labeled cells at 3 cm from the SQUID sensors. T2-weighted MRI yielded a detection limit of 15,600 cells in a 150 μl volume, with r1 = 1.1 mM−1s−1 and r2 = 166 mM−1s−1. Her2-targeted nanoparticles were directly injected into xenograft MCF7/Her2-18 tumors in nude mice, and magnetic relaxometry imaging and 4.7 T MRI were performed, enabling direct comparison of the two techniques. Co-registration of relaxometry images and MRI of mice resulted in good agreement. A method for obtaining accurate quantification of microgram quantities of iron in the tumors and liver by relaxometry was also demonstrated. These results demonstrate the potential of SQUID-detected magnetic relaxometry imaging for the specific detection of breast cancer and the monitoring of magnetic nanoparticle-based therapies.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques are widely used in the drug discovery process. The primary feature exploited in these investigations is the large difference in mass between drugs and receptors (usually proteins) and the effect this has on the rotational or translational correlation times for drugs bound to their targets. Many NMR parameters, such as the diffusion coefficient, spin diffusion, nuclear Overhauser enhancement, and transverse and longitudinal relaxation times, are strong functions of either the overall tumbling or translation of molecules in solution. This has led to the development of a wide variety of NMR techniques applicable to the elucidation of protein and nucleic acid structure in solution, the screening of drug candidates for binding to a target of choice, and the study of the conformational changes which occur in a target upon drug binding. High-throughput screening by NMR methods has recently received a boost from the introduction of sophisticated computational techniques for reducing the time needed for the acquisition of the primary NMR data for multidimensional studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both magnetic relaxometry and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect and locate targeted magnetic nanoparticles, noninvasively and without ionizing radiation. Magnetic relaxometry offers advantages in terms of its specificity (only nanoparticles are detected) and the linear dependence of the relaxometry signal on the number of nanoparticles present. In this study, detection of single-core iron oxide nanoparticles by superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID)-detected magnetic relaxometry and standard 4.7 T MRI are compared. The nanoparticles were conjugated to a Her2 monoclonal antibody and targeted to Her2-expressing MCF7/Her2-18 (breast cancer cells); binding of the nanoparticles to the cells was assessed by magnetic relaxometry and iron assay. The same nanoparticle-labeled cells, serially diluted, were used to assess the detection limits and MR relaxivities. The detection limit of magnetic relaxometry was 125 000 nanoparticle-labeled cells at 3 cm from the SQUID sensors. T(2)-weighted MRI yielded a detection limit of 15 600 cells in a 150 µl volume, with r(1) = 1.1 mm(-1) s(-1) and r(2) = 166 mm(-1) s(-1). Her2-targeted nanoparticles were directly injected into xenograft MCF7/Her2-18 tumors in nude mice, and magnetic relaxometry imaging and 4.7 T MRI were performed, enabling direct comparison of the two techniques. Co-registration of relaxometry images and MRI of mice resulted in good agreement. A method for obtaining accurate quantification of microgram quantities of iron in the tumors and liver by relaxometry was also demonstrated. These results demonstrate the potential of SQUID-detected magnetic relaxometry imaging for the specific detection of breast cancer and the monitoring of magnetic nanoparticle-based therapies.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Academia and small business research units are poised to play an increasing role in drug discovery, with drug repurposing as one of the major areas of activity. Here we summarize project status for a number of drugs or classes of drugs: raltegravir, cyclobenzaprine, benzbromarone, mometasone furoate, astemizole, R-naproxen, ketorolac, tolfenamic acid, phenothiazines, methylergonovine maleate and beta-adrenergic receptor drugs, respectively. Based on this multi-year, multi-project experience we discuss strengths and weaknesses of academic-based drug repurposing research. Translational, target and disease foci are strategic advantages fostered by close proximity and frequent interactions between basic and clinical scientists, which often result in discovering new modes of action for approved drugs. On the other hand, lack of integration with pharmaceutical sciences and toxicology, lack of appropriate intellectual coverage and issues related to dosing and safety may lead to significant drawbacks. The development of a more streamlined regulatory process world-wide, and the development of pre-competitive knowledge transfer systems such as a global healthcare database focused on regulatory and scientific information for drugs world-wide, are among the ideas proposed to improve the process of academic drug discovery and repurposing, and to overcome the "valley of death" by bridging basic to clinical sciences.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Drug Discovery Today Therapeutic Strategies
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer detection using mammography has improved clinical outcomes for many women, because mammography can detect very small (5 mm) tumors early in the course of the disease. However, mammography fails to detect 10 - 25% of tumors, and the results do not distinguish benign and malignant tumors. Reducing the false positive rate, even by a modest 10%, while improving the sensitivity, will lead to improved screening, and is a desirable and attainable goal. The emerging application of magnetic relaxometry, in particular using superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) sensors, is fast and potentially more specific than mammography because it is designed to detect tumor-targeted iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles. Furthermore, magnetic relaxometry is theoretically more specific than MRI detection, because only target-bound nanoparticles are detected. Our group is developing antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles targeted to breast cancer cells that can be detected using magnetic relaxometry.
To accomplish this, we identified a series of breast cancer cell lines expressing varying levels of the plasma membrane-expressed human epidermal growth factor-like receptor 2 (Her2) by flow cytometry. Anti-Her2 antibody was then conjugated to superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles using the carbodiimide method. Labeled nanoparticles were incubated with breast cancer cell lines and visualized by confocal microscopy, Prussian blue histochemistry, and magnetic relaxometry.
We demonstrated a time- and antigen concentration-dependent increase in the number of antibody-conjugated nanoparticles bound to cells. Next, anti Her2-conjugated nanoparticles injected into highly Her2-expressing tumor xenograft explants yielded a significantly higher SQUID relaxometry signal relative to unconjugated nanoparticles. Finally, labeled cells introduced into breast phantoms were measured by magnetic relaxometry, and as few as 1 million labeled cells were detected at a distance of 4.5 cm using our early prototype system.
These results suggest that the antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles are promising reagents to apply to in vivo breast tumor cell detection, and that SQUID-detected magnetic relaxometry is a viable, rapid, and highly sensitive method for in vitro nanoparticle development and eventual in vivo tumor detection.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Breast cancer research: BCR
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ten years ago, we introduced a fluorescent probe that shed light on the inside-out regulation of one of the major leukocyte integrins, very late antigen-4 (VLA-4, CD49d/CD29). Here we describe the regulation of another leukocyte integrin, lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18) using a novel small fluorescent probe in real time on live cells. We found that multiple signaling mechanisms regulate LFA-1 conformation in a manner analogous to VLA-4. LFA-1 can be rapidly activated by Gα(i)-coupled G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and deactivated by Gα(s)-coupled GPCRs. The effects of Gα(s)-coupled GPCR agonists can be reversed in real time by receptor-specific antagonists. The specificity of the fluorescent probe binding has been assessed in a competition assay using the natural LFA-1 ligand ICAM-1 and the LFA-1-specific α I allosteric antagonist BIRT0377. Similar to VLA-4 integrin, modulation of the ligand dissociation rate can be observed for different LFA-1 affinity states. However, we also found a striking difference in the binding of the small fluorescent ligand. In the absence of inside-out activation ligand, binding to LFA-1 is extremely slow, at least 10 times slower than expected for diffusion-limited binding. This implies that an additional structural mechanism prevents ligand binding to inactive LFA-1. We propose that such a mechanism explains the inability of LFA-1 to support cell rolling, where the absence of its rapid engagement by a counterstructure in the inactive state leads to a requirement for a selectin-mediated rolling step.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optimizing the sensitivity of SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) relaxometry for detecting cell-targeted magnetic nanoparticles for in vivo diagnostics requires nanoparticles with a narrow particle size distribution to ensure that the Néel relaxation times fall within the measurement timescale (50 ms-2 s, in this work). To determine the optimum particle size, single-core magnetite nanoparticles (with nominal average diameters 20, 25, 30 and 35 nm) were characterized by SQUID relaxometry, transmission electron microscopy, SQUID susceptometry, dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. The SQUID relaxometry signal (detected magnetic moment/kg) from both the 25 nm and 30 nm particles was an improvement over previously studied multi-core particles. However, the detected moments were an order of magnitude lower than predicted based on a simple model that takes into account the measured size distributions (but neglects dipolar interactions and polydispersity of the anisotropy energy density), indicating that improved control of several different nanoparticle properties (size, shape and coating thickness) will be required to achieve the highest detection sensitivity. Antibody conjugation and cell incubation experiments show that single-core particles enable a higher detected moment per cell, but also demonstrate the need for improved surface treatments to mitigate aggregation and improve specificity.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hantaviruses use α(v)β(3) integrins on the surface of human host cells as a gateway to invasion, hence compounds that target this receptor may be used as antiviral agents. To accomplish this aim, new peptidomimetic compounds were selected based on similarity to a cyclic peptide known to bind the α(v)β(3) receptor. This first round of biological screening identified peptidomimetic molecules which were effective hantavirus inhibitors in the low micromolar range, two thousand times more potent than the original cyclic peptide. Pharmacophore models were built to broaden the structural diversity of the second set of compounds screened. Structure-activity relationships (SAR) were drawn from the entire dataset. Further characterization by dose-response studies revealed that three compounds had potency in the nanomolar range. Selectivity assays with a panel of hantaviruses supported the mechanism of inhibition by targeting the α(v)β(3) receptor, through the β(3) integrin.