We live in an age of reactive, centralized health care. Most of us only come into contact with sophisticated medical instrumentation when something has gone seriously wrong with us, or if we've gone to a doctor's office or other centralized facility to undergo some sort of test. Medicine is probably the only area of our lives where we tolerate this lack of control; in entertainment, for example, we no longer rely on the concert schedule and theater tickets, but instead have home libraries (and on-demand online access) to more options than would have been conceivable even ten years ago.
Home computers and the Internet were created to serve as an interface between ourselves and information. To both maintain and improve human health, we need the same sort of interface between ourselves and the microscopic world of biology: the microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that make us sick, as well as the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), proteins, and small molecules tasked with keeping our bodies running.
The Molecular Monitoring Group at the Center for Future Health is working to develop this interface, through the invention and testing of novel biosensors. By bringing together expertise in genomics, proteomics, combinatorial chemistry, material science, and nanotechnology, we will construct devices that will provide rapid diagnosis and assessment in the clinic, the doctor's office, and at home.
Smart Bandage Technology Platform
Smart bandage is a platform of technologies targeted to reduce the burdens of chronic wound care. Smart bandage technologies integrate nanoporous optical sensors, photonic crystals and biodegradable silicon nanoparticles in a hydrogel polymer support. The optical and biomaterial properties of these smart nanocomposites promote wound healing by preventing infection through early detection, by delivering phototherapeutic red light and by monitoring the delivery of drug therapies in a time-released fashion. The technology is inexpensive and does not require sophisticated instrumentation or sample processing. The sensor is used to monitor a change in color, which in some cases can be observed with the naked eye. The Smart Bandage platform is envisioned for use by patients in their homes. By integrating patients into their own treatment by adopting these new and minimally invasive technologies the overall quality of patient care will be improved and medical costs will be reduced by decreasing the number of hospital visits.
Adarza BioSystems (www.adarzabio.com)
NIH/HIAID 1K25AI060884-01A1 - Porous Silicon Optical Sensor for Candida Detection
Strohsahl, C.M.; Du, H.; Miller, B.L.; Krauss, T.D. "Towards single-spot multianalyte molecular beacon biosensors", Talanta, 2005, in press.
Du, K.; Strohsahl, C.M.; Camera, J.; Krauss, T.D.; Miller, B.L. "Sensitivity and Selectivity of Metal Surface-Immobilized "Molecular Beacon" Biosensors", J.Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 7933-7940.
DeLouise, L.A.; Kou, P.M. Miller, B.L. "Cross-correlation of Optical Microcavity Biosensor Response with Immobilized Enzyme Activity—Insights into Biosensor Sensitivity", Anal. Chem., 2005, 77, 3222-3230.
Miller, B.L. "Interfacing Biology and Computing for Health", in Bushko, Ed. Future Health Technology, v. 2, in press.
Ouyang, H.; DeLouise, L.A.; Christophersen, M.; Miller, B.L.; Fauchet, P.M. "Biosensing with one-dimensional photonic bandgap structure", Proc. SPIE, 2005, 5111, 71-80.