Cell Regulation with Polyvalent Nanoparticles
ABSTRACT: AuraSense is developing and commercializing NanoFlare technology as an enabling tool for detecting RNA levels in cells. Current methods for sensing of viral exposure require great amounts of virus particles to be present in blood, or extensive processing of blood to isolate virus-specific genomic markers. We will develop NanoFlare sensors that can penetrate through skin, enter the bloodstream and detect viral targets. Once inside blood cells, the sensors will signal the presence of virus-specific genomic markers. This signal can be detected by fluorescence spectroscopy. The flexibility of the NanoFlare platform will facilitate the tailoring of the NanoFlare to meet current and emerging threats. BENEFIT: AuraSense will demonstrate an approach for detection of viral RNA in living cells. This will be accomplished using non-invasive systemic delivery through the skin. NanoFlare technology could thus be adapted for field deployment, for example by creating a patch to systemically deliver NanoFlares. We envision that a NanoFlare patch could be used by the warfighter to determine viral infection by taking a finger prick blood sample, with a rapid readout using a simple fluorescence detector such as a UV light source. In the commercial space, such a point-of-care fluorescence detection can be used by doctors in the clinic for rapid PCR-free diagnostic assays.
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