assay optimization
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2022 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
Long T. Nguyen ◽  
Santosh R. Rananaware ◽  
Brianna L. M. Pizzano ◽  
Brandon T. Stone ◽  
Piyush K. Jain

Abstract Background The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has swept through the globe at an unprecedented rate. CRISPR-based detection technologies have emerged as a rapid and affordable platform that can shape the future of diagnostics. Methods We developed ENHANCEv2 that is composed of a chimeric guide RNA, a modified LbCas12a enzyme, and a dual reporter construct to improve the previously reported ENHANCE system. We validated both ENHANCE and ENHANCEv2 using 62 nasopharyngeal swabs and compared the results to RT-qPCR. We created a lyophilized version of ENHANCEv2 and characterized its detection capability and stability. Results Here we demonstrate that when coupled with an RT-LAMP step, ENHANCE detects COVID-19 samples down to a few copies with 95% accuracy while maintaining a high specificity towards various isolates of SARS-CoV-2 against 31 highly similar and common respiratory pathogens. ENHANCE works robustly in a wide range of magnesium concentrations (3 mM-13 mM), allowing for further assay optimization. Our clinical validation results for both ENHANCE and ENHANCEv2 show 60/62 (96.7%) sample agreement with RT-qPCR results while only using 5 µL of sample and 20 minutes of CRISPR reaction. We show that the lateral flow assay using paper-based strips displays 100% agreement with the fluorescence-based reporter assay during clinical validation. Finally, we demonstrate that a lyophilized version of ENHANCEv2 shows high sensitivity and specificity for SARS-CoV-2 detection while reducing the CRISPR reaction time to as low as 3 minutes while maintaining its detection capability for several weeks upon storage at room temperature. Conclusions CRISPR-based diagnostic platforms offer many advantages as compared to conventional qPCR-based detection methods. Our work here provides clinical validation of ENHANCE and its improved form ENHANCEv2 for the detection of COVID-19.

Diagnostics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 114
José Guilherme Datorre ◽  
Ana Carolina de Carvalho ◽  
Mariana Bisarro dos Reis ◽  
Monise dos Reis ◽  
Marcus Matsushita ◽  

The use of droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to identify and quantify low-abundance targets is a significant advantage for accurately detecting potentially oncogenic bacteria. Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn) is implicated in colorectal cancer (CRC) tumorigenesis and is becoming an important prognostic biomarker. We evaluated the detection accuracy and clinical relevance of Fn DNA by ddPCR in a molecularly characterized, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) CRC cohort previously analyzed by qPCR for Fn levels. Following a ddPCR assay optimization and an analytical evaluation, Fn DNA were measured in 139 CRC FFPE cases. The measures of accuracy for Fn status compared to the prior results generated by qPCR and the association with clinicopathological and molecular patients’ features were also evaluated. The ddPCR-based Fn assay was sensitive and specific to positive controls. Fn DNA were detected in 20.1% of cases and further classified as Fn-high and Fn-low/negative, according to the median amount of Fn DNA that were detected in all cases and associated with the patient’s worst prognosis. There was a low agreement between the Fn status determined by ddPCR and qPCR (Cohen’s Kappa = 0.210). Our findings show that ddPCR can detect and quantify Fn in FFPE tumor tissues and highlights its clinical relevance in Fn detection in a routine CRC setting.

2021 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
Paula V. Monje ◽  
Ketty Bacallao ◽  
Gabriela I. Aparicio ◽  
Anil Lalwani

Abstract Background Heregulin is a ligand for the protooncogene product ErbB/HER that acts as  a key mitogenic factor for human Schwann cells (hSCs). Heregulin is required for sustained hSC growth in vitro but must be thoroughly removed before cell collection for transplantation due to potential safety concerns. The goal of this study was to develop simple cell-based assays to assess the effectiveness of heregulin addition to and removal from aliquots of hSC culture medium. These bioassays were based on the capacity of a β1-heregulin peptide to elicit ErbB/HER receptor signaling in adherent ErbB2+/ErbB3+ cells. Results Western blotting was used to measure the activity of three different β1-heregulin/ErbB-activated kinases (ErbB3/HER3, ERK/MAPK and Akt/PKB) using phospho-specific antibodies against key activating residues. The duration, dose-dependency and specificity of β1-heregulin-initiated kinase phosphorylation were investigated, and controls were implemented for assay optimization and reproducibility to detect β1-heregulin activity in the nanomolar range. Results from these assays showed that the culture medium from transplantable hSCs elicited no detectable activation of the aforementioned kinases in independent rounds of testing, indicating that the implemented measures can ensure that the final hSC product is devoid of bioactive β1-heregulin molecules prior to transplantation. Conclusions These assays may be valuable to detect impurities such as undefined soluble factors or factors for which other biochemical or biological assays are not yet available. Our workflow can be modified as necessary to determine the presence of ErbB/HER, ERK, and Akt activators other than β1-heregulin using native samples, such as fresh isolates from cell- or tissue extracts in addition to culture medium.

2021 ◽  
pp. 2100152
J. Porter Hunt ◽  
Jackelyn Galiardi ◽  
Tyler J. Free ◽  
Seung Ook Yang ◽  
Daniel Poole ◽  

2021 ◽  
Surasak Kasetsirikul ◽  
Muhammad J.A. Shiddiky ◽  
Nam-Trung Nguyen

Abstract This paper reports the development of fluorescent-linked immunosorbent paper-based assay for exosome detection. The paper-based device was fabricated with sandwich lamination for easy handling and was coated with exosome-specific antibody as a biosensing platform to detect exosome sample from the cell culture media. This assay employed fluorescent detection which is followed by tagging fluorophore-conjugated detecting antibody on exosome samples. The fluorescent readout was evaluated and quantified from image processing software. This assay can detect high concentration of exosome samples (~ 1010 exosome/mL). However, this assay has encountered various challenges. First, the exosome concentration prepared from cell culture media from cancer-derived ovarian and mesothelial cell lines may be insufficient to reach detectable range. Second, chemical contamination from exosome isolation kits may affect assay sensitivity. Therefore, assay optimization and minimizing chemical contamination are required which could enhance assay specificity and sensitivity.

Insects ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (10) ◽  
pp. 885
Thayssa M. R. Oliveira ◽  
Frida A. Zink ◽  
Renato C. Menezes ◽  
Érico C. Dianese ◽  
Karina C. Albernaz-Godinho ◽  

Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is one of the most important agricultural pests in the world. This historically Old World species was first reported in Brazil in 2013 and has since spread throughout much of South America and into the Caribbean. Throughout North America, H. armigera surveys are ongoing to detect any incursions. Each trap is capable of capturing hundreds of native Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). The two species cannot be separated without genitalic dissection or molecular methods. A ddPCR assay is currently used to screen large trap samples, but this equipment is relatively uncommon and expensive. Here, we optimized a newly designed assay for accurate and repeatable detection of H. armigera in bulk samples across both ddPCR and less costly, and more common, real-time PCR methods. Improvements over previously designed assays were sought through multiple means. Our results suggest bulk real-time PCR assays can be improved through changes in DNA extraction and purification, so that real-time PCR can be substituted for ddPCR in screening projects. While ddPCR remains a more sensitive method for detection of H. armigera in bulk samples, the improvements in assay design, DNA extraction, and purification presented here also enhance assay performance over previous protocols.

2021 ◽  
pp. 247255522110383
Jason Haelewyn ◽  
Philip W. Iversen ◽  
Jeffrey R. Weidner

Well-behaved, in vitro bioassays generally produce normally distributed values in their primary (efficacy) data. Accordingly, the best practices for statistical analysis are well documented and understood. However, assays may occasionally display unusually high variability and fall outside the assumptions inherent in these standard analyses. These assays may still be in the optimization phase, in which the source of variation could be identified and addressed. They might also represent the best available option to address the biological process being examined. In these cases, the use of robust statistical methods may provide a more appropriate set of tools for both data analysis and assay optimization. This article provides guidance on best practices for the use of robust statistical methods for the analysis of bioassay data as an alternative to standard methods. Impacts on experimental design and interpretation will be discussed.

2021 ◽  
Frank X. Liu ◽  
Johnson Q. Cui ◽  
Hojeong Park ◽  
Ka Wai Chan ◽  
Tyler Leung ◽  

AbstractThe isothermal molecular diagnosis with CRISPR has attracted particular interest for the sensitive, specific detection of nucleic acids. However, most of the assays with Cas enzymes were performed in bulk assays using multistep approaches and hard to realize quantitative detection. Herein, we report Microfluidics-Enabled Digital Isothermal Cas13a Assay (MEDICA), a digital format of SHERLOCK with enhanced robustness and sensitivity. We first address the macromolecular crowding problems when combining the recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and Cas13a detection into a one-pot SHERLOCK assay. After the assay optimization, the enhanced one-pot SHERLOCK (E-SHERLOCK) achieves high robustness and 200-fold increased sensitivity. Leveraging droplet microfluidics, we streamline the E-SHERLOCK to eliminate undesired input targets caused by pre-amplification before partition, enabling background-free absolute quantification. From the real-time monitoring, MEDICA enables qualitative detection within 10 min and absolute quantification within 25 min. For the proof of concept, we applied MEDICA to quantify HPV 16 and 18 viral loads in 44 clinical samples, indicating perfect accordance with qPCR results. MEDICA highlights the CRISPR-based isothermal assays are promising for the next generation of point-of-care diagnostics.

2021 ◽  
Vol 294 ◽  
pp. 114177
Manikantha Benala ◽  
Murugadas Vaiyapuri ◽  
Sivam Visnuvinayagam ◽  
Joshy Chalil George ◽  
Karthika Raveendran ◽  

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