On May 4, 2021, Cardea Bio, a Tech+Bio company integrating molecular biology with semiconductor electronics via graphene-based biology-gated “Cardean Transistors,” has announced that its Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Kiana Aran, and collaborators have published a paper titled “Rapid and Electronic Identification and Quantification of Age-Specific Circulating Exosomes via Biologically Activated Graphene Transistors” in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Biology on April 30, 2021 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adbi.202000594). The paper reports a novel biosensor called the EV-Chip, a prototype portable, low-cost reader for the detection and quantification of exosome biomarkers of cancer and other aging-related diseases. The paper demonstrates the EV-Chip’s clinical potential to evaluate human liquid biopsy samples through rapid, label-free identification of known biomarkers, CD63 and CD151. The publication was the result of a collaboration among Cardea Bio, Inc., the Keck Graduate Institute and the Keck Science Department in Claremont, California, and the University of California, Berkeley. “Modern clinical advances have extended the bounds of the human lifespan, revealing a new class of health issues related to the aging process, such as cancer as well as inflammatory and degenerative diseases,” said Dr. Aran. “Scientists will be able to use the EV-Chip for biomarker discovery and unlock a new source of diagnostic biomarkers and therapies to combat these diseases more effectively.” The EV-Chip has high-specificity antibodies that bind to one or more exosome biomarkers of interest embedded into a Cardean Transistor chip. It can be functionalized to detect virtually any exosome biomarker. When a plasma-derived exosome sample is added, the one-molecule-thick, biocompatible graphene transistor detects antibody binding events and sends digital feedback to a small device that can connect easily to any computer and return results within an hour. The whole setup is small and simple to use, making it well-suited to a physician’s office or biological lab.
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