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SELECTBIO Conferences Extracellular Vesicles 2022: Biology, Disease & Medicine

Jean Lewis's Biography

Jean Lewis, Associate Director, Research, Biological Dynamics

Dr. Lewis is an Associate Director of Research at Biological Dynamics, Inc., where her team is developing exosome-based liquid biopsy assays using a proprietary platform. Her work has shown the potential utility of EV-protein biomarkers in non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, infection, and cancer. Recently, her research has been directed towards identifying EV biomarkers for early-stage cancer liquid biopsy. Dr. Lewis obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She started as an NIH National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, where she conducted research in cancer cell metastasis and was later awarded both an NCI Independent Research Award and a Pardee Cancer Foundation grant. In a subsequent appointment at the UC San Diego Nanoengineering Department, she focused on developing EV-based immunoassays for cancer diagnostics.

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Use of Circulating Extracellular Vesicle Protein Biomarkers to Detect Disease Earlier

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 at 10:00

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Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) contain a wealth of biomarkers and are key to numerous emerging liquid biopsy approaches; information from these EV biomarkers can be harnessed for diagnosis of many different diseases.  For example, EVs released from tumors may carry biomarkers signaling the presence and type of cancer; EVs bearing markers of neurological damage can be found in circulating blood, and in the case of infectious disease, pathogen-related markers can be released on EVs from infected blood cells.  While there are multiple innovative, emerging technologies designed to measure EV biomarker levels, many rely on multi-step procedures for prior isolation of the EVs from plasma or serum or are very low throughput.  To advance EV biomarker analysis towards true point-of-care diagnostics, we have developed a lab-on-a-chip nanoparticle isolation platform (Verita™), designed to both isolate and immobilize extracellular vesicles directly from unprocessed blood fractions onto an AC Electrokinetics (ACE) microelectrode array.  The EV-associated biomarkers can be either eluted for further analysis or quantified directly on-chip, where the entire process takes less than an hour, showing the potential for point-of-care applications.  The Verita™ platform was used to screen clinical serum or plasma samples and demonstrated feasibility for detecting various disease types.  For example, performance of an assay using ACE-purified plasma EVs from stages I-II pancreatic cancer showed a sensitivity of 83% at 99% specificity.  EVs quantified directly on-chip can be probed with biomarkers related to early cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, and can be used to detect TB infection with an AUC of 1.00.

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