Breaking News
September 24, 2018 - A new approach for finding Alzheimer’s treatments
September 24, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for dementia
September 24, 2018 - Study examining mental health among students finds significant disparities in treatment across race
September 24, 2018 - Breakthrough discovery paves way for future test to identify drowsy drivers
September 24, 2018 - Transcatheter mitral-valve repair in patients with heart failure
September 24, 2018 - Study opens new avenues for treatment of Laing distal myopathy
September 24, 2018 - Stroke Facts | cdc.gov
September 24, 2018 - Sarcolipin tricks muscle cells into using more energy, burning fat
September 24, 2018 - Enrollment in opioid controlled substance agreement reduces primary care visits
September 24, 2018 - UTA researchers patent new smart seat cushion technology that helps prevent painful ulcers
September 24, 2018 - Second HPV-Related Primary Cancers Common in Survivors
September 24, 2018 - How a virus destabilizes the genome
September 24, 2018 - Old letters provide insight into Spanish flu pandemic horror
September 23, 2018 - Smart textile-based soft robotic exosuit helps wearers save energy and traverse difficult terrain
September 23, 2018 - New research hub to drive radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - AHA: For Hispanics, Neighborhood May Be Key Factor in Heart Disease Risk
September 23, 2018 - Excessive airway nerves tied to more severe asthma symptoms, study finds
September 23, 2018 - Study highlights need to remain vigilant in maintaining key infection control processes
September 23, 2018 - Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy
September 23, 2018 - New naturally occurring antibiotic found effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis
September 23, 2018 - First-in-human phase 0 study shows clinically-relevant activity of new drug in glioblastoma
September 23, 2018 - Removing tobacco product display from shops reduced number of children buying cigarettes
September 23, 2018 - Random fraction of specialized immune cells leads the charge in battling invaders
September 23, 2018 - Few minutes of sprinting exercise may be as effective as longer exercise sessions
September 23, 2018 - Researchers use neutrons to make first direct observations of water in lipid bilayers
September 23, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate pre-clinical success for universal flu vaccine in new paper
September 23, 2018 - Study reveals surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers’ knowledge of ACA
September 23, 2018 - Oxehealth secures European medical device accreditation for vital signs measurement software
September 23, 2018 - HTN Tx Intensification Common Upon Discharge in U.S. Vets
September 23, 2018 - Fibre can strengthen the intestinal barrier
September 23, 2018 - New platform examines infectious pathogens that may spread from animals to humans
September 23, 2018 - Demographers create detailed color map of population aging in Europe
September 23, 2018 - New type of fatty acid can slow down overreactive immune system
September 23, 2018 - Innovative procedure could provide breakthrough in treating early-stage lung cancer
September 23, 2018 - Research finds drop in number of measles cases in the EU/EEA since March 2018
September 23, 2018 - Researchers acquire new insights into DNA polymerases
September 23, 2018 - Alzheimer’s diagnosis might become simpler with new brain imaging method
September 23, 2018 - Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors
September 23, 2018 - Researchers unravel why people with HIV suffer from more neurologic diseases
September 23, 2018 - Human brain structured to make best possible decision with limited resources
September 23, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health on the hill
September 23, 2018 - Bad air and inadequate data prove an unhealthy mix
September 23, 2018 - Regular bedtime and wake time important for heart, metabolic health even among adults
September 23, 2018 - HIV and a tale of a few cities
September 23, 2018 - NIH launches clinical trial to test infusions of combination antibodies in people with HIV
September 23, 2018 - Researchers develop new system to detect consumption of synthetic cannabinoids
September 23, 2018 - Vax-Hub to influenze radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - People who have slept lesser than seven hours have higher risks of car crashes
September 23, 2018 - an ancient art may work best to prevent falls in old age
September 23, 2018 - Consumption of foods with lower nutritional quality related to increased cancer risk
September 23, 2018 - Patient Health Information Often Shared Electronically
September 23, 2018 - Can machine learning bring more humanity to health care?
September 23, 2018 - Body organs undergo structural changes in response to diet
September 23, 2018 - Genetic polymorphisms linked with muscle injury and stiffness
September 23, 2018 - As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move
September 22, 2018 - Why Eczema Is Tougher to Treat for Black Patients
September 22, 2018 - Team reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes
September 22, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
September 22, 2018 - Novel method achieves accurate and precise temperature estimation in fat-containing tissues
September 22, 2018 - BSI accredits Oxehealth’s vital signs measurement software as Class IIa medical device
September 22, 2018 - Evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits
September 22, 2018 - Obesity in early puberty doubles asthma risk for boy’s future offspring
September 22, 2018 - World’s most advanced real-time patient monitoring platform receives key US patent
September 22, 2018 - Study explores connection between sexuality and cognitive status in older adults
September 22, 2018 - LSTM partners with TB Alliance to develop novel TB drug regimens
September 22, 2018 - Annual wellness visits improve delivery of preventive services in elderly population
September 22, 2018 - CHMP provides positive opinion to Cabometyx for previously-treated patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
September 22, 2018 - Hispanic communities with high proportions of Hispanics face more cardiovascular-related death
September 22, 2018 - Vici syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
September 22, 2018 - Single-dose drug can shorten flu symptoms by about a day, studies suggest
September 22, 2018 - AMSBIO launches circulating tumor DNA Reference Standards
September 22, 2018 - Sandalwood mimicking odorant could stimulate hair growth in humans
September 22, 2018 - Overlooked immune cells could play a key role in cancer immunotherapy, claims new study
September 22, 2018 - Study reveals prevalence of diagnosed type 1 and type 2 diabetes among American adults
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop fast detection strategy to know type of virus acquired by patients
September 22, 2018 - Global Prevalence of Insufficient Activity 27.5 Percent
September 22, 2018 - Strategies to protect bone health in hematologic stem cell transplant recipients
September 22, 2018 - Brigham Genomic Medicine program unravels 30 medical mysteries
September 22, 2018 - New system harnesses power of bubbles to destroy dangerous biofilms
September 22, 2018 - Inflammation plays crucial role in preventing heart attacks and strokes, study reveals
URI professor develops simpler and quicker method for detecting impurity in heparin

URI professor develops simpler and quicker method for detecting impurity in heparin

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In 2008, a contaminant eluded the quality safeguards in the pharmaceutical industry and infiltrated a large portion of the supply of the popular blood thinner heparin, sickening hundreds and killing about 100 in the U.S.

It took a team of researchers led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to confirm the contaminant, a toxin structurally similar to heparin that was traced to a Chinese supplier. But detection of the impurity required “a tremendous effort by heavy hitters in the chemistry world,” said Jason Dwyer, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island.

After nearly eight years of research, Dwyer has developed a simpler and quicker method for detecting the impurity in heparin, along with creating a process that could have wider benefits. His research was unveiled today in the prestigious online journal Nature Communications, part of the suite of journals from the publisher of Nature.

“There are tests that are much more sophisticated and expensive to detect the impurity,” said Dwyer, of Providence, R.I.“What we were able to do is – in a very inexpensive and rapid fashion – fingerprint heparin and tell when there is a contaminant in it.”

The research, “Surveying Silicon Nitride Nanopores for Glycomics and Heparin Quality Assurance,”could also be used to analyze the entire class of molecules to which heparin belongs with broad use in biomedical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and environmental sensing. Dwyer’s wider studies of sugars were bolstered in July by a $318,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

For example, Dwyer said, the new detection technique could serve as a quality assurance tool across the pharmaceutical industry, especially with an increased push to develop more sugar-based drugs, such as heparin. “Sugars are incredibly important,” said Dwyer, whose research in the past has garnered publication in the high-profile journals Nature and Science. “They’re how bacteria communicate with each other. They’re how we’re going to be designing a lot of new drugs. So we need new tools to analyze sugars.”

To develop the new detection technique, Dwyer turned to a sensing method proven in the sequencing of DNA and proteins. The sensor consists of a hole, or nanopore, less than a thousandth the thickness of a human hair, sitting on a membrane that is even thinner, and tests substances at the smallest detectable level – a single molecule.

While the sensor, a solid-state silicon nitride nanopore, worked well for DNA, it had to be retooled for sugar molecules, which are far more complex, said Dwyer, whose group was one of the first to focus on sugars.

Starting in 2010, the project developed along with other work by Dwyer’s team. It took years to fabricate and fine-tune devices, refine the nanopore and prevent the opening from clogging. “A fair number of students have worked on this project over the years,” Dwyer said. “We have not relented. We butted our heads against the wall for a period of time and we realized we needed to do a fair amount of fundamental work before we could get to the point of detecting.”

One unexpected problem was solved by Buddini Karawdeniya, lead author of the paper who completed her doctorate in chemistry at URI in the spring. When she attempted to run sugar molecules through the nanopore, they went backwards. “In 1996, people figured out how DNA could be sensed with a nanopore,” Dwyer said. “There were some oddities but it worked the way it was expected. Sugars right off the bat did not act as expected. So Buddini had to look at what had been done for 20 years, but know she had to start over at some level.”

With the 2008 crisis, researchers had managed to identify and detect the oversulfated chondroitin sulfate contaminant, which was nearly identical to the heparin. Using the fine-tuned nanopore, Dwyer’s research looked at both samples, determined that the signals they generated were 99-percent identical, and devised analysis techniques to use the 1-percent difference to reliably detect the impurity.

“The test we came up with takes about 20 minutes,” he said, “and works at clinically relevant concentrations.”

The goal is to make detection of the impurity even quicker, down to minutes and seconds. At the same time, the device will have to be adapted for a commercial user who may lack the expertise of a researcher in a technology development lab. Also, the tool would have to perform accurately in a less-controlled environment.

“This is where research starts to transition into development, and we start to refine the conditions and the devices even more,” Dwyer said. “Often discovery is the easiest part. Refining it for the end user takes time.”

The nanopore that came out of the heparin research was designed with that in mind. It uses technology similar to that found in nearly every piece of consumer electronics, said Dwyer, so there is already an industry ready to produce the sensors on a large scale.

“We always try to think about the consumer market,” he said. “What we do in the lab is one thing -; and it is a vital thing -; but how do we translate it into the real world?”

Source:

URI chemistry professor develops new contaminant detection technique for blood thinner heparin

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles