How Point of Care Diagnostics Will Change the Future of Health Care, Dr. Andrew Ellington


Published on

Imagine the day when you will simply spit on a piece of paper to test yourself for the flu. Similar to the way home pregnancy tests kits are used now. The possibility that simple, point-of-sale consumer diagnostics could be mass marketed for a variety of diseases will not only will it change how the pharmaceutical industry delivers treatments, it will also transform the hallowed doctor-patient relationship.

Join us for lunch on May 3 to hear Dr. Andrew Ellington, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Texas, describe his research using DNA computation to develop innovative point-of-care diagnostics. He will talk about how far hiss research has come, and what the future holds.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

How Point of Care Diagnostics Will Change the Future of Health Care, Dr. Andrew Ellington

  1. 1. DNA Computers and Point-of-Care Diagnostics Seriously? May 3, 2012 Andrew D. Ellington Fraser Professor of BiochemistryCenter for Systems and Synthetic Biology University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. Our story starts in a somewhat odd place:how does a woman know if she’s pregnant? While "the rabbit died" became a common way to announce a pregnancy after being popularized by Lucille Ball on a 1952 episode of "I Love Lucy", injecting a rabbit with a pregnant womans urine will not kill the rabbit. Researchers did inject female rabbits and other animals with pregnant womens urine throughout the 20th century in an effort to discern pregnancy. They theorized that a chemical in a pregnant womens urine, known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), would stimulate the rabbits ovaries. Unfortunately for the rabbit, the quickest way to see whether or not her ovaries were affected by the urine was to kill and dissect her. Read more: Homemade Pregnancy Tests | tests.html#ixzz1tQjG8weS
  3. 3. Of course, what the rabbits were really measuring washuman chorionic gondaotropin, a hormone inducedearly in pregnancy.
  4. 4. And if rabbits could measure it, surely we could, too? If only someone could figure out … how? Monoclonal Materials antibody science technologyThis is where Dr. IanRichards, amongstothers, comes in.Ian in the endmade a very complextask … very simple. Social forces
  5. 5. What Ian did was to take a laboratoryassay for hCG that was cumbersome,and make a complex device that wassimple in design and use.
  6. 6. And this is the device, updated, that is still used today.
  7. 7. And now, we are finally to the point of the talk: If we can measure hCG easily, why can’t we, and why don’t we, measure lots of other things in a similar manner? Drugs of abuse Bacteria of nastinessWell, we do, sort of. It’s possible, but it hasn’t really caught on.
  8. 8. What Ian reminded me of, was that there was a social revolution going on in parallel with the scientific one.We go fromwomen notbeing trustedto makedecisionsthat a doctor‘should’ make,to …. Circa 1976 Circa 1979 And here’s where my research comes in …..
  9. 9. A different woman, a different social revolution: monitoring drugresistant tuberculosis in Afghanistan-Collect slide material-Boil, centrifuge, collect supernatant---Phenol chloroform extraction-Nested PCR of rpoB-Sequencing-Analysis• Gain a picture of the extent of rifampin resistance in primary tuberculosis isolates.• Identify relative frequency of resistance-conferring mutations to set up interpretation of new resistance tests.• Determine geographical distribution of resistance.• Evaluate the feasibility of molecular mutation detection for the Afghanistan National Tuberculosis Program, utilizing the existing infrastructure as an alternative to phenotypic susceptibility testing.
  10. 10. Sputum from AfghanistanClean, number, and select slides
  11. 11. Afghan Slides Slides Samples Resistant Cases Received Chosen Amplified Sequences ~5000 1120 511 150 17 Mutation Number(Percent) Sequencing to identify drug TCG531 TTG 13(76) resistance TCG531 TGG 2(11.8) CAC526 CGC 1(5.9) TCG522 TTG 1(5.9)So, we’ve gone from pregnancy tests of convenience, tolife-or-death decisions where medical care is sparse …but the story gets weirder (this is Austin, after all):
  12. 12. How to make computers with carbon, rather than silicon Erik Winfree Niles Pierce Peng YinZhang et al. (2007) Science 318:1121
  13. 13. + Xi Chen, brilliant Grace Eckhoff, brilliant and driven and compassionate graduate student undergraduate(And this, my friends, is why you go to the University ofTexas at Austin, rather than the University of Phoenixat Online)
  14. 14. Only one huge problem: not nearly sensitive enough
  15. 15. A brief scientific digression, so you know what I’m talking about: Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  16. 16. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  17. 17. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  18. 18. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  19. 19. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  20. 20. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  21. 21. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  22. 22. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  23. 23. Catalyzed hairpin assembly
  24. 24. Catalyzed hairpin assembly Overall reaction
  25. 25. Adaptation of catalytic hairpin assembly to detection• Multiple different ways to look at the same reaction.• Modularity of adaptation to platforms.• 100-fold amplification (still not good enough!)• A little slow (1/min turnover)
  26. 26. If one reaction isn’t good enough, maybe we can stack them,just like electronic circuits?
  27. 27. Amplification is unfortunately plagued by leakage. How, why, and how to deal with it? (this is the boring part that takes forever) Type I: caused by mis-formed (mis-synthesized and/or mis- folded) Mi that directly activates the substrate Mi+1. Type II: caused by mis-formed Mi and/or Ai that form Mi:Ai duplex in the absence of the catalyst (Mi-1:Ai-1 duplex). Type III: caused by reaction between perfectly formed Mi and Ai, in the absence of the catalyst (Mi-1:Ai-1 duplex). A real example (Credit: Bingling Li)
  28. 28. Get rid of the mis-formed material!Native PAGE Purification Layer 2 + 3  “Bad” M2 and A2 purified by reacting the two, followed by Native PAGE isolation  8% Native PAGE used to maintain A2:M2 bound species  Completely eliminated uncatalyzed M2 + A2 hybridization (Credit: Neima Briggs)
  29. 29. Get rid of the other mis-formed material! Layer 2 + 3 (Credit: Jeremy McLain) (Credit: Neima Briggs)Figure shows the effect of the combination of the both purification methods.
  30. 30. Results – 1,000x amplification achieved with extensively purified DNAStill. Not. Good. Enough. Output 100 nM ~1000X Amplification 5 nM (@5pM catalyst) 0 nM (Credit: Neima Briggs)
  31. 31. Problems with chemically synthesized hairpins … solved by enzymatic synthesis! Limited single-layer Greatly extended! fold-amplification (due to toxic substrate) Batch-to-batch Minimized! variation Chemical Enzymatic Sensitive to refolding and storage condition What you don’t want What you want Eliminated! Significantly overlapping Completely (prep scale, NOT analytical scale) separated
  32. 32. Prospect/Results – Strategy and preliminary results of large- scale (>1 nmole), enzymatic oligonucleotide synthesis Table 1. Estimated cost for each batch of DNA hairpin Step Major costly Amount Cost Source materials PCR DNA polymerase 0.003 mg $0.03 home-made1 (Pfu-Sso7d or Vent) dNTPs 1 mg $2 Chem-Implex each Intl. nucleotide Restriction EcoRV-HF or 0.001 mg $0.01 home-made1 digestion PvuII-HF Nicking Nt.BstNBI 0.001 mg $0.01 home-made1 Strand Vent 0.01 mg $0.1 home-made1 displacement Other cost Buffers, tubes, N/A ~$2 N/A depreciation of 2 3a 3b 4 5 equipments, etc Total ~$4 1 We assume 1 L E.coli culture can yield at least 1 mg of protein of interest. Major costly materials in protein purification include LB broth (~$2 for 20 g), Ni-NTA beads (~$2.5 for 1 mL, considering re-use for at least 4 times), and other chemicals including antibiotics, IPTG, BME, imidazole (~$5 total). These add up to $10. Therefore we use a standard rate of $10 per mg protein of interest when estimating cost. Product Cost / reaction = 5 cents!
  33. 33. Unprecedented purity = unprecedented amplificationMinimum leakage without any N- or B-purification, and potent amplification… Reporter + 1st & 2nd layer hairpins + 2 nM Input 1st layer hairpins: enzymatically synthesized 2nd layer hairpins: chemically synthesized, DN-pure Reporter + 1st & 2nd layer hairpins + 10 pM Input 10 pM  100 nM, 104-fold amplification with 2 layers Reporter + 1st & 2nd layer hairpins Leakage is much more manageable. Reporter + 2nd layer hairpins Reporter only
  34. 34. Brief intermission:• Great idea, non-enzymatic amplifiers that recognize sequence. Except no amplification.• So, make a different mousetrap, 100-fold amplification.• And stack the mousetraps (painful analogy?), 1,000-fold amplification.• And optimize preparation, 10,000-fold amplification.• You know what comes next. STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH• Although we do think we’re now going to be able to do a million-fold or better, so we’re on track.
  35. 35. Except … we have to detect multiple mutations in parallelOverlap PCR with mutated primers will be used to generate the following mutated alleles: Drug Gene Mutated codon (mutant base shown in red) Rifampicin rpoB (RNA polymerase beta S531L (TCGTTG) subunit) H526Y (CACTAC) Q513L (CAACTA) Isoniazid katG (catalase-peroxidase) S315T (AGCACC) Streptomycin rpsL (ribosomal protein S12) K43R (AAGAGG) Ethambutol embB (indolylacetylinositol M306V (ATGGTG) arabinosyltransferase) Fluoroquinolones gyrA (DNA gyrase subunit A) D94G (GACGGC) • Isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin and ethambutol are essential first-line antituberculosis drugs. • Ethambutol and streptomycin are also included in the group 1 and 2 drugs for treatment of MDR-TB while fluoroquinolones are part of the reserve second-line drugs.
  36. 36. But Dick Crooks at Texas … had a better idea.George Whitesides atHarvard is a very cleverfellow who can makepaper do many things.
  37. 37. KarenOur assays on their paper Scida
  38. 38. o-PAD 2ImprovementsPhotolithography is eliminated in favor of wax printing using a $700 office printerDevice is laminated to prevent evaporation during assays and to prevent contaminationA voltmeter is used for read-out, which is both sensitive and quantitative
  39. 39. o-PAD 2 Fabrication and Fluidics(a) A sheet of paper printed using an office printer (6 devices per sheet of paper)(b) The folded and laminated o-PAD(c) A corner is snipped off to admit the analyte solution(d) The analyte is introduced into the fluidics(e) The unfolded device showing the results of 3-D fluidic penetration
  40. 40. If we can deliver paper, we can deliver health care. India has some 545 million cell phones, enough to serve about 45 per cent of the population, but only about 366 million people or 31 per cent of the population had access to improved sanitation in 2008.
  41. 41. But it’s bigger than that, and impacts us here at home, too. Complex system diagnostics: then Crud, it doesn’t work And now
  42. 42. Complex system diagnostics: then And now
  43. 43. What if … we could just logon to get our health status? [Full disclosure: I own equity that is worthThe Traitwise Technology almost $10.52] We crowd-source information by having users answer personalized questions & ask questions of their own By using gaming paradigms we optimize every panel to engage the user. New questions emerge at the top of the page to create user anticipation and eliminate page navigation Traitwise becomes a dialog to create a personalized experiences Fun survey interface designed by game developers
  44. 44. The Traitwise Technology (continued) Traitwise provides instant How many people answer feedback and survey results how many questions? The average number of questions answered using 100-2,000 (addicted) Traitwise is over 50 0-10 (Just looking) Nearly 20% of participants answer over 100 questions with a tail of distribution 30-100 (very going out to over 2,000. engaged) 10-30 (engaged) Fun and addictive!
  45. 45. Research Using Patient Reported Outcomes• Patient reported outcomes are being used to reduce health care costs by comparative effectiveness research – By a combination of screening and patient reported outcomes, researchers are identifying the treatment effectiveness – Patent reported research also “reveals acquired behaviors and individual responses to health programs” necessary for improved health (1) Example of depression correlations(1) Jethwani, K. et al. // // Jan. 2011 Used in Commercial, Research, and Clinical Settings
  46. 46. So, what does the future look like?• Complex diagnostics, made cheap and uploadable (is that a word?)• Complex analyses, easy and online.• People taking control of their own healthcare.
  47. 47. The folks responsible for the rainbows and unicorns:Grace Eckhoff, Marshall Scholar NIH DARPAXi Chen, Harvard Fellow Gates FoundationBingling Li The great stateSanchita Bhadra of TexasPeter Allen (I am a state employee, somethingMatt Winkler and Asuragen ERI I seldom forget)Jeff Taylor, John Jacob, Oscar AyalaDick Crooks, Karen Scida