University of Pennsylvania,
Keywords: microbubbling, diagnostics, point of care, biomarkers
Summary:Quantitating ultra-low concentrations of protein biomarkers is critical for early disease diagnosis and treatment. However, most current point-of-care (POC) assays are limited in sensitivity. Herein, we introduce an ultra-sensitive and facile microbubbling assay for the quantification of protein biomarkers with a digital readout method that requires onlya smartphone camera. We used machine learning to develop a smartphone application for automated image analysis to facilitate accurate and robust counting. Using this method, post-prostatectomy surveillance of prostate specific antigen (PSA) can be achieved with a detection limit (LOD) of 2.1 fm (0.060 pgmL1), and early pregnancy detection using bhCG can be achieved with a of 0.034 mIUmL1 (2.84 pgmL1). This work provides the proof-of-principle of the microbubbling assay with a digital readout as an ultra-sensitive technology with minimal requirement for power and accessories, facilitating future POC applications. The technology is protected by a pending patent application. We are actively pursuing multiple clinical applications using the microbubbling digital assay, and looking for collaborators who are interested in partnering.