Counting Molecules, Dodging Blood Cells: Continuous, Real-time Molecular Measurements Directly in the Living Body: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | April 10 | 2-3 p.m. | 4 LeConte Hall

 Prof. Kevin W. Plaxco, UC Santa Barbara, Bioengineering / Chemistry

 Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

The availability of technologies capable of tracking the levels of drugs, metabolites, and biomarkers in real time in the living body would revolutionize our understanding of health and our ability to detect and treat disease.

Imagine, for example, a dosing regime that, rather than relying on your watch (“take two pills twice a day”), is instead guided by second-to-second measurements of plasma drug levels wirelessly communicated to your smartphone. Such a technology would likewise provide researchers and clinicians an unprecedented window into neurology and physiology, and could even support ultra-high-precision personalized medicine in which drug dosing is optimized minute-by-minute using closed-loop feedback control.

Towards this goal, we have developed a biomimetic, electrochemical sensing platform that supports the high frequency, real-time measurement of specific molecules (irrespective of their chemical reactivity) in situ in the bodies of awake, freely moving subjects.

Kevin Plaxco did his PhD at Caltech and postdoc at Oxford. He joined UCSB in 1998. He holds more than a dozen patents and sits on the boards of several biotech companies.