Professor Kirill Alexandrov experiment
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Full article issued by the Queensland University of Technology.

ARC-supported researchers are a step closer to transforming a US$70 billion global diagnostic industry with new designer biosensors that ‘switch on’ colour or electrical responses to drugs used in cancer, arthritis, and organ transplant treatment.

Lead researcher and Future Fellowship recipient Professor Kirill Alexandrov says that the biosensors have potential to expand patient care by enabling sophisticated tests on cheaper lab equipment and new point-of-care devices.

'Proteins are at the core of a US$70-billion-dollar global diagnostic market that relies heavily on central lab processing,' Professor Alexandrov says.

'Our biosensor technology will enable tests like therapeutic drug monitoring on less sophisticated equipment that you are more likely to find in small, regional or remote labs and hospitals.'

The sensors were produced by engineered bacteria, altered using recombinant DNA technology to produce artificial switch molecules that were tailored to recognise a particular drug. When activated, they produce either a change of colour for hue-based readings, or electrochemical current.

Professor Alexandrov said the team has already experimented with applications using common glucometer technology to develop a cheap, portable, and accurate device, and has also demonstrated the feasibility of detecting two different biomarkers at the same time.

Photo credit: 

Image credit: QUT.