Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 28

will always be the same - but it's time
for the technology that we use to develop
richer insights and advance modalities
into the future. There has never
been a better time for disruptive, innovative
companies to bring solutions into
the spinal medical technology space. I'm
confident that the future of precision
surgery includes new, innovative technology
that features real time feedback
and data rich interoperability. Because
without it, the industry is simply reliant
on outdated technologies.
The bottom line is this: We need innovations
that can locate anatomy, register
the location, direct implant navigation,
and provide efficient updates without
disrupting the workflow and exposing
the patient to more radiation. Can you
imagine a future of printing paper
MapQuest directions to get where you're
going, or will you be reaching your destination
with Waze or another intuitive
driving app? The future of surgery and
positive patient outcomes depends on it.
This article was written by Tommy
Carls, Vice President of Product Management
and Marketing at Proprio, Seattle,
WA. Contact: For more information,
visit www.propriovision.com.
Engineers Develop Low-Cost Human Biomarker
Sensor Designs
The biomarkers help
decode the body's
physiology.
Penn State
State College, PA
Penn State researchers have developed
a low-cost, RNA-based technology
to detect and measure biomarkers,
which can help decode the body's physiology.
The presence of protein biomarkers
can indicate chronic or acute conditions,
from arthritis to cancer to
bac terial infections, for which conventional
tests can cost anywhere from $100
to upwards of $1,000. The new technology
can perform the same measurement
for about a dollar.
The team published their results in
Nature Communications, combining the
efforts of Howard Salis, associate professor
of biological engineering, chemical
engineering and biomedical engineering;
Grace Vezeau, who earned a doctorate
in biological engineering from Penn
State in 2021; and Lipika Gadila, who
earned a bachelor of science in chemical
engineering from Penn State in 2018.
The results demonstrate that RNAbased
sensors can be engineered to detect
human biomarker proteins, including
monomeric C-reactive protein, which
is involved in chronic inflammatory conditions
such as heart disease and arthritis,
and interleukin-32 gamma, a signaling
protein for acute infections like
viruses or bacterial infections. According
to Salis, such sensors could be used to develop
devices for diagnostic testing.
" These tests can help a clinician diagnose
a patient, but it's more informative
to carry out multiple biomarker measurements
periodically over the span of
several weeks, " Salis says. " Right now,
one test can be expensive, and they add
up. With our new RNA-based technology,
it's now possible to carry out the same
measurements for much less. "
The technology is a combination of a
cell-free expression system and engineered
RNA-based sensors called riboswitches.
Cell-free expression systems
contain cellular machinery to read DNA
and produce proteins, but they are not
restricted by cell membranes and allow
bulky proteins to freely enter. The riboswitches
are engineered to bind to a biomarker
protein and regulate the activation
or repression of an observable
signal. The riboswitch itself is produced
inside the cell-free expression system
from DNA instructions. Altogether, the
cost of these materials is about a dollar
per reaction.
Penn State researchers developed a low-cost approach to design and develop sensors for human
biomarkers, including for the monomeric C-reactive protein, illustrated here. This protein is involved
in chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and arthritis. (Credit: Wirestock/iStock)
28
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According to Salis, this is the first time
that researchers have engineered a riboswitch
sensor to detect biomarker proteins.
The challenge, he says, is figuring
out the best DNA instructions to generate
the most sensitive protein sensors.
" Past efforts to engineer such riboswitch
sensors have largely relied on trialand-error
experimentation, for example,
constructing and characterizing large
random libraries to identify riboswitch
variants - the genetic blueprints and aptamers
- that work best, " Salis says. " Using
a combination of thermodynamic
modeling and computational optimization,
we rationally designed new riboMedical
Design Briefs, July 2023
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Medical Design Briefs - July 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - July 2023

Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1A
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1B
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 4
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Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB12
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB11
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB10
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB09
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB08
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB07
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https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB05
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21MDB02
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