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SELECTBIO Conferences Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Global Health & Biosensors 2020

Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Global Health & Biosensors 2020 Agenda

Co-Located Conference Agendas

Lab-on-a-Chip and Microfluidics 2020 | Organ-on-a-Chip 2020 | Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Global Health & Biosensors 2020 | 

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Start and Introduction to the Virtual Conference [All Times are Pacific Times]


Leanna LevineConference Chair

Welcome, Introduction, Topics Addressed and Conference Opening by Conference Chairperson
Leanna Levine, Founder & CEO, ALine, Inc., United States of America


Albert FolchKeynote Presentation

Microfluidics for Interrogating Intact-Tumor Biopsies
Albert Folch, Professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington, United States of America

Cancer remains a major healthcare challenge worldwide. It is now well established that cancer cells constantly interact with fibroblast cells, endothelial cells, immune cells, signaling molecules, and the extracellular matrix in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Present tools to study drug responses and the TME have not kept up with drug testing needs. The number of clinical trials of combination therapies has been climbing at an unsustainable rate, with 3,362 trials launched since 2006 to test PD-1/PD-L1-targeted monoclonal antibodies alone or in combination with other agents. We have developed a microfluidic platform (called Oncoslice) for the delivery of multiple drugs with spatiotemporal control to live tumor biopsies, which retain the TME. We have developed the use of Oncoslice for the delivery of small-molecule cancer drug panels to glioblastoma (GBM) xenograft slices as well as to slices from patient tumors (GBM and colorectal liver metastasis). In addition, we have developed a precision slicing methodology that allows for producing large numbers of cuboidal micro-tissues (“cuboids”) from a single tumor biopsy. We have been able to trap cuboids in arrays of microfluidic traps in a multi-well platform. This work will potentially allow for the high-throughput application of drugs to intact human tumor tissues.


Daniel ChiuKeynote Presentation

Microfluidic Technologies For Liquid Biopsy
Daniel Chiu, A. Bruce Montgomery Professor of Chemistry, University of Washington, United States of America

This presentation will describe microfluidic technologies we developed for liquid biopsy and precision medicine. Specifically, a rare-cell isolation instrument we call eDAR (ensemble decision aliquot ranking), a nanofluidic technology for the high-sensitivity sorting of exosomes, and a digital-nucleic-acid detection and analysis platform based on our SD (self-digitization) chip. I will outline the workings of these microfluidic platforms, describe their performance, and discuss the clinical questions we are addressing with these technologies.


Amy HerrKeynote Presentation

Precision Biology: Deep Profiling of Single Cells Using Electrophoretic Cytometry
Amy Herr, Professor, University Of California Berkeley, United States of America

Underpinning single-cell measurement tools, microfluidic design offers the throughput, multiplexing, and quantitation needed for rich, multi-dimensional data. Genomics and transcriptomics are leading examples. Yet, while proteins are the dynamic, downstream effectors of function, the immunoassay remains the de facto standard (flow cytometry, mass cytometry, immunofluorescence). We posit that to realize the full potential of high-dimensionality cytometry, new approaches to protein measurement are needed. I will describe our ‘electrophoretic cytometry’ tools that increase target selectivity beyond simple immunoassays. Enhanced selectivity is essential for targets that lack high quality immunoreagents – as is the case for the vast majority of protein forms (proteoforms).  I will share our results on highly multiplexed single-cell western blotting and single-cell isoelectric focusing that resolves single charge-unit proteoform differences. In fundamental engineering and design, I will discuss how the physics and chemistry accessible in microsystems allows both the “scale-down” of electrophoresis to single cells and the “scale-up” to concurrent analyses of large numbers of cells. Precise reagent control allows for integration of cytometry with sophisticated sample preparation – the unsung hero of measurement science. Lastly, I will link our bioengineering research to understanding the role of protein signaling and truncated isoforms in development of breast cancer drug resistance and understanding protein signaling in individual circulating tumor cells. Taken together, we view microfluidic design strategies as key to advancing protein measurement performance needed to address unmet gaps in quantitative biology and precision medicine.


Afternoon Break


Nancy AllbrittonKeynote Presentation

Microengineering a Physiologic Colon Replica
Nancy Allbritton, Frank and Julie Jungers Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington in Seattle, United States of America

Organ-on-chips are miniaturized devices that arrange living cells to simulate functional subunits of tissues and organs. These microdevices provide exquisite control of tissue microenvironment for the investigation of organ-level physiology and disease. A 3D polarized epithelium using primary human gastrointestinal stem cells was developed to fully recapitulate gastrointestinal epithelial architecture and physiology. A planar monolayer comprised of stem/proliferative and differentiated primary cells is cultured on a shaped hydrogel scaffold with an array of crypt-like structures replicating the intestinal architecture. These planar layers display physiologic drug transport and metabolism and immunologically appropriate responses. Facile co-culture with other cell types such as immune cells or myofibrolasts is readily achieved. A dense mucus layer is formed on the luminal epithelial surface that is impermeable to bacteria and acts a barrier to toxins. The in vitro mucus has remarkably similar in its biophysical properties to that produced in vivo. Imposition of chemical gradients across the crypt long axis yields a polarized epithelium with a stem-cell niche and differentiated cell zone. The stem cells proliferate, migrate and differentiate along the crypt axis as they do in vivo. An oxygen gradient across the tissue mimic permits luminal culture of anaerobic bacteria while maintaining an oxygenated stem cell niche. This in vitro human colon crypt array replicates the architecture, luminal accessibility, tissue polarity, cell migration, and cellular responses of in vivo intestinal crypts. This bioanalytical platform is envisioned as a next-generation system for assay of microbiome-behavior, drug-delivery and toxin-interactions with the intestinal epithelia.


Anita RogacsKeynote Presentation

Workflow Automation with Digital and Customizable Microfluidics: Challenges and Opportunities
Anita Rogacs, Head of Life Sciences Strategy and R&D, HP Labs, United States of America

Life Sciences analytical workflows benefit greatly from microfluidic automation, leading to improvement in accuracy, multiplexing, efficiency, and cost. Yet microfluidics has faced significant barriers to adoption in both diagnostics and drug discovery, due to constrained designs and long and costly development pipelines. HP is addressing this challenge by leveraging our digital and customizable mode of microfluidics, eliminating the need to design a “new chip” for every new workflow, target and reagent.


ALine, Inc.Valves in Microfluidics – Past, Present & Future
Leanna Levine, Founder & CEO, ALine, Inc.

Managing fluid movement in a controlled way is conveniently done with on-board valves that are actuated externally with the support of an instrument. In this talk, I will review the types of valves available and the pros and cons of different approaches and their consequences for complexity in the supporting instrument.


Exploiting Cardiac Microphysiological Systems For COVID-19 Drug Screening
Kevin Healy, Jan Fandrianto and Selfia Halim Distinguished Professorship in Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, United States of America

Our work has emphasized creating both healthy and diseased cardiac and liver microphysiological systems (MPS) or ‘organ chips’, to address the costly and inefficient drug discovery process. While MPS are poised to disrupt the drug development process and significantly reduce the cost of bringing a new drug candidate to market, the technology is more robust and creates a whole new paradigm in how to conduct safety pharmacology science, and advances medicine in revolutionary ways. An emerging use of MPS is in the evaluation of repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19. While repurposed drugs are typically FDA-approved for monotherapy, most have not been tested in polytherapy with  anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medications typically employed as part of intensive care protocols. Since COVID-19 patient morbidity is highly correlated with myocardial injury, independent of pre-existing cardiovascular disease, this presentation will address examples of exploiting our human cardiac MPS as unique testbeds for rapidly assessing the cardiac liability of polytherapy of repurposed COVID-19 drugs. Preclinical data generated will inform clinical trial design for polytherapies for COVID-19 patients, particularly regarding risks of potential drug-drug interactions or identifying appropriate exclusion criteria, monitoring strategies, and dose adjustments to minimize cardiac liabilities.


Close of Day 1 of the Conference

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Day 2 of the Conference [All Times are Pacific Times]

Session Title: Emerging Themes in POC Diagnostics 2020


Advances in Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices for Point of Care Diagnostics
Andres Martinez, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, United States of America

Paper-based microfluidic devices, also known as microPADs, are a promising platform for the development of low-cost point-of-care diagnostic tests for use in resource-limited settings. Like conventional microfluidic devices, microPADs can be used to manipulate and analyze small volumes of fluids. Paper-based devices are also inexpensive to fabricate, portable, simple to operate, and can complete an assay without relying on electrical power or supporting equipment. This presentation will describe recent advances in the stabilization of reagents for use with microPADs and techniques for signal amplification that could be applied to a wide range of paper-based assays.


Paul YagerKeynote Presentation

Rapid Sensitive and Simple NAAT Self-testing for SARS-CoV-2 with Paper-based Microfluidics
Paul Yager, Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, United States of America

Whether to guide treatment of an individual’s infection, or to manage an ongoing pandemic, or to prevent the next one, there is an urgent need for low-cost rapid diagnostic devices capable of identifying the cause of infectious disease that work wherever the person is, not just in a centralized laboratory.  “Ubiquitous diagnostics” can bring the best diagnostic capabilities to homes, physicians’ office laboratories and pharmacies in the developed world, or to places in the developing world where nothing is available now.  We had been working to develop simple single-use instrument-free devices for nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for the presence of respiratory diseases, Chlamydia and gonorrhea, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV.  To enable these devices, we have created a suite of stand-alone or integrated sample-handling components that can process blood, urine or swabs.  With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have pivoted to detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to address the unmet need for self-testing in the home at sensitivity levels that would allow detection of presymptomatic cases.  We will show recent progress in reducing such processes to a few user-friendly steps appropriate for untrained users.  We have established UbiDX to commercialize the SARS-CoV-2 test and multiplexed panels of pathogens for use in self-testing in a variety of scenarios.


Joany JackmanKeynote Presentation

Resources to Aid Point of Care Developers to Market
Joany Jackman, Senior Scientist, Technical Lead, Technology Development Core, Johns Hopkins Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, United States of America

The Johns Hopkins Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (the Center) is part of the National Institute of Biomolecular Imaging and Bioengineering’s Point of Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN).  Established in 2007, this network of centers was created to help developers of promising technologies reach the market faster and for less money. This is done by pairing them with scientists, clinicians and laboratorians who are experts in the disease targets for which they are developing their devices.   As part of this program, our Center provides expert guidance in the biology of STDs, clinicians’ view of diagnostics, clinical samples at low or no cost, clinical evaluations, tactical funding, and now systems engineering. Recently rapid development for COVID diagnostics (RADx) has been added to the mission of the POCTRN Centers. A description of ways to interact with our Center will be highlighted.


Lunch Break


Redbud LabsPoint-of-Care Molecular Testing and Microfluidic Nucleic Acid Extraction
Richard Chasen Spero, CEO, Redbud Labs

Point-of-care molecular tests have a reputation for inferior sensitivity when compared to their laboratory competition. Sample preparation is the single biggest barrier to high-sensitivity molecular testing at point-of-care. In the laboratory, column- and magnetic bead-based workflows are the gold standard. Microfluidic systems, by contrast, have no widely adopted standard for nucleic acid extraction, despite decades of research. We present our work to port the gold-standard nucleic acid extraction workflow using magnetic beads onto microfluidic cartridges.


Joseph WangKeynote Presentation

Microneedle-Electrochemical Sensors: Towards a Lab Under the Skin
Joseph Wang, Chair of Nanoengineering, SAIC Endowed Professor, Director at Center of Wearable Sensors, University of California-San Diego, United States of America

Wearable sensors have received a major recent attention owing to their considerable promise for monitoring the wearer’s health and wellness. The medical interest for wearable systems arises from the need for monitoring patients over long periods of time. These devices have the potential to continuously collect vital health information from a person’s body and provide this information to them or their healthcare provider in a timely fashion. Such sensing platforms provide new avenues to continuously and non-invasively monitor individuals and can thus tender crucial real-time information regarding a wearer’s health.

This presentation will focus on our recent efforts for using microneedle sensor arrays for simultaneous minimally-invasive real-time monitoring of multiple biomarkers. Owing to the arrayed nature of the microneedle structures, various target analytes can be detected at different individually-addressable microneedles for realizing such multiplexed sensing operation. The preparation and characterization of such wearable electrochemical microneedle sensor arrays will be described, along with their current status, advantages, latest applications, and future prospects and challenges.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Day 3 of the Conference [All Times are Pacific Times]


Arben MerkoçiKeynote Presentation

Nanobiosensors for Diagnostics Applications
Arben Merkoçi, ICREA Professor and Director of the Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, Institut Català de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Spain

There is a high demand to develop innovative and cost effective devices with interest for health care beside environment diagnostics, safety and security applications. The development of such devices is strongly related to new materials and technologies being nanomaterials and nanotechnology of special role. We study how new nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, graphene, nano/micromotors can be integrated in simple sensors thanks to their advantageous properties. Beside plastic platforms physical, chemical and mechanical properties of cellulose in both micro and nanofiber-based networks combined with their abundance in nature or easy to prepare and control procedures are making these materials of great interest while looking for cost-efficient and green alternatives for device production technologies. Both paper and nanopaper-based biosensors are emerging as a new class of devices with the objective to fulfil the “World Health Organization” requisites to be ASSURED: affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment free and deliverable to end-users. How to design simple paper-based biosensor architectures? How to tune their analytical performance upon demand? How one can couple nanomaterials such as metallic nanoparticles, quantum dots and even graphene with paper and what is the benefit?   How we can make these devices more robust, sensitive and with multiplexing capabilities? Can we bring these low cost and efficient devices to places with low resources, extreme conditions or even at our homes? Which are the perspectives to link these simple platforms and detection technologies with mobile communication? I will try to give responses to these questions through various interesting applications related to protein, DNA and even contaminants detection all of extreme importance for diagnostics, nanotheranostics, environment control, safety and security.


Chong AhnKeynote Presentation

Immunodiagnostic Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) for Rapid Serological Tests of COVID-19 Exposure and Immunity
Chong Ahn, Distinguished University Research Professor, Mitchell P. Kartalia Chair Professor of BioMEMS, University of Cincinnati, United States of America

A new compact immunodiagnostic point-of-care testing (POCT) analyzer which can rapidly (within 10-15 minutes) and accurately detect anti-SARS-COV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies has been explored and developed, in combination with a neutralization assay which measures neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, with the goal of linking serological diagnostics to immune status of infected individuals.

The compact POCT analyzer platform with a new multiplex microchannel-based capillary flow assay (MCFA) lab chip can perform a rapid, real time measurement of anti-SARS-COV-2 IgM and IgG in whole blood for determining COVID-19 exposure and immunity. The POCT platform consists of (a) a multiplex polymer lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can successfully integrate multiple features of sandwich ELISA and lateral flow tests to implement MCFA using on-chip dried reagents and (b) a portable compact fluorescent analyzer to simultaneously detect multiple targets from the multiplexing immunoassay LOC.  In addition, the use of a monoclonal antibody specific for the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S-protein would enable the utilization of the MCFA device for a competitive assay to determine the presence of neutralizing antibody in the patient sample, leading to an ideal POCT that not only detects COVID-19 exposure but can also confer immune status.

This serological diagnostics in a compact POCT analyzer platform will provide a new paradigm for rapid and cost-effective diagnosis of rapidly-transmitting diseases like COVID-19.


Title to be Confirmed.
John Brennan, Professor and Director, Biointerfaces Institute, McMaster University, Canada


Paper-based POC Molecular Test for Bloodborne Viral Pathogens and Application to SARS-COV-2 Home Test
Jonathan D Posner, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, United States of America

Simple, self-administered molecular tests for bloodborne viruses remains a significant challenge due to the numerous sample preparation challenges and low detection limits required for viral pathogens. Here we describe a paper membrane based NAAT with integrated sample preparation and amplification using isotachophoresis and recombinase polymerase amplification.  We discuss the challenges of detecting RNA targets in blood and alternative sample preparation strategies that can be integrated onto paper substrates. We demonstrate our POC viral diagnostic on HIV-1 virus in whole blood and present recent work on the development of a home-based COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test.

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