Interferometric biosensing platform for multiplexed digital detection of viral pathogens and biomarkers
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Label-free optical biosensors have been established as proven tools for monitoring specific biomolecular interactions. However, compact and robust embodiments of such instruments have yet to be introduced in order to provide sensitive, quantitative, and high-throughput biosensing for low-cost research and clinical applications. Here we present the interferometric reflectance-imaging sensor (IRIS). IRIS allows sensitive label free analysis using an inexpensive and durable multi-color LED illumination source on a silicon based surface. IRIS monitors biomolecular interaction through measurement of biomass addition to the sensor's surface. We demonstrate the capability of this system to dynamically monitor antigen-antibody interactions with a noise floor of 5.2 pg/mm^2 and DNA single mismatch detection under isothermal melting conditions in an array format. Ensemble detection of binding events using IRIS did not provide the sensitivity needed for detection of infectious disease and biomarkers at clinically relevant concentrations. Therefore, a new approach was adapted to the IRIS platform that allowed the detection and identification of individual nanoparticles on the sensor's surface. The new detection method was te1med single-particle IRIS (SP-IRIS). We developed two detection modalities for SP-IRIS. The first modality is when the target is a nanoparticle such as a virus. We verified that SP-IRIS can accurately detect and size individual viral particles. Then we demonstrated that single nanoparticle counting and sizing methodology on SP-IRIS leads to a specific and sensitive virus sensor that can be multiplexed. Finally, we developed an assay for the detection of Ebola and Marburg. A detection limit of 3 x 10^3 PFU/ml was demonstrated for vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudotyped with Ebola or Marburg virus glycoprotein. We have demonstrated that virus detection can be done in human whole blood directly without the need for sample preparation. The second modality of SP-IRIS we developed was single molecule counting of biomarkers utilizing a sandwich assay with detection probes labeled with gold nanoparticles. We demonstrated the use of single molecule counting in a nucleic acid assay for melanoma biomarker detection. We showed that a single molecule counting assay can lead to detection limits in the attomolar range. The improved sensitivity of IRIS utilizing single nanoparticle detection holds promise for a simple and low-cost technology for rapid virus detection and multiplexed molecular screening for clinical applications.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University