(4aw) Novel Electrochemical Sensor Array for Biofluids

Authors: 
Halpern, J. M., Case Western Reserve University



Significance and Research:

      Point-of-care
diagnostics is one of the hottest growing areas in biotechnology and medicine. As
of today, routine medical diagnostic techniques are still limited in many ways;
they are time-consuming, costly, sometimes inaccurate, or even invasive. New
tools to quickly and accurately diagnose a wide variety of diseases are currently
attracting research interest and funding. Novel electrochemical biosensors detect
specific enzyme and protein changes that can be indicative of disease; however,
these sensors are limited to testing only one molecular interaction and are
unstable over time. In addition, enzymatic sensors ignore small chemical
markers within biofluids that are capable of aiding
in disease analysis, such as: aldehydes, ketones, and other volatile organic
compounds for cancer; hormones for stress-related disorders; and homovanillic acid, vanillylmandelic
acid, and other catecholamines for neurological
disorders. New sensors that can accurately and quickly measure multiple small
chemical markers within biofluids are necessary.

      My
research will focus on the development of a novel electrochemical sensor for
quick, accurate, and point-of-care disease discrimination via biofluid (e.g.
urine)
analysis of these small chemical markers. Specifically, non-enzyme electrochemical
contacts that use molecular interactions (such as the affinity binding between cyclodextrin
and small hydrophobic chemicals) will be used to accurately distinguish a number
of different chemical markers. Initially, a single developed sensor will be
tested to determine key affinity interactions for enhanced sensing capabilities
towards these small chemical markers. Eventually, the new electrochemical
sensor will be integrated into an array, with multiple different molecular
interactions to probe, and to identify, a range of these small chemical markers
accurately. Through statistical analysis (e.g. principle component
analysis) we could then successfully determine the ?chemical fingerprint? of specific
diseases. The electrochemical sensor array will be capable of a long shelf-life
and use life-time, and the array will provide data to the patient within
minutes instead of days or weeks. After the electrode array is developed, I will
seek clinical partners to test various diseases, such as various types of
cancer at different stages, neurological diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's), and stress-related disorders.

Grants and Honors:

Fulbright Core Postdoctoral Scholar,
January 2013

Lady Davis Trust Fellow, January 2013

NIH Musculoskeletal Postdoctoral Trainee,
NRSA, T32, April 2011

Advanced Platform Technologies (APT), Veterans Affairs Innovative
Initiative Program Role: Co-PI, August 2011

Mentors/Advisors:

Graduate Advisor: Heidi B. Martin,
Department of Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Post-Doctorate Advisor: Horst A. von
Recum, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Fulbright Post-Doctorate
Sponsor: Hossam Haick, Department of Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel
Institute of Technology

Teaching and Mentoring Experience:  

      I have extensive mentoring experience (over 8 students in the past
6 yrs). In addition, I have designed and co-instructed a course titled, ?Research
and Innovation?, and I have been invited to give guest lectures at several universities.

      My
general approach to teaching is to give students the opportunity for
interaction and discussion through project-based coursework. Undergraduate
students typically benefit from applying the material through discussion and
interaction. In large classrooms, I intend to break up the students into smaller
groups (4-5 students), in order to provide class time for this approach.

Other Presentations at AIChE 2013:

JM Halpern and H Haick. ?Molecular-Terminated, Oxide-Free
Silicon Nanowire Field Effect Transistors: Effect of the C-C bond Nearest to
the Surface? 

JM Halpern, M Keech, A Weinstock, R Mathers, and HA
von Recum. ?Affinity-Based Thermoset Biodegradable Polymer?

JM Halpern, CA Gormley, M Keech, and HA von Recum. ?Sterilization of Anti-Microbial Surface Coatings?

Full CV: http://bit.ly/HalpernCV