ICB Project Results in Device That Could Revolutionize How Medicines are Monitored and Administered

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Kevin Plaxco (left) and Tom Soh (right)

ICB researchers Tom Soh, Kevin Plaxco and postdoctoral student Scott Ferguson have developed an insturment that can determine concentrations of specific molecules in tiny amounts of whole blood, continuously and in real time.  The device is called MEDIC (Microfluidic Electrochemical Detector for in vivo Concentrations) and provides insight into how fast a living body metabolizes drugs, opening the door to highly personalized medicine.

“The easier and faster your doctor can detect specific molecules — drug molecules, proteins that are diagnostic of a specific disease — the faster your doctor can diagnose disease and monitor treatment,” said Plaxco.

This work is the result of a multiyear ICB supported project among the research labs of professors Plaxco, Soh, and Associate Professor Tod Kippin.

“The device worked incredibly well,” said Kippin, whose lab tested the microfluidic device. “The measurements were highly sensitive to doses that are clinically relevant and could be maintained for several hours. Further, we demonstrated exquisite selectivity and flexibility in that the device is only sensitive to the target even when administered a cocktail of drugs.”

To view a video interview with Kevin Plaxco, Tom Soh and Scott Ferguson explaining the MEDIC device visit UCSB The Current.

This work was also featured in Science Translational Medicine. View this related news item.