In IDEATION Lab, we focus on developing novel tools for effective and early disease diagnosis by detecting specific biomarkers. We aim to establish robust platforms that collect individual patient molecular and genetic profiles and combines disease diagnosis and treatment procedures into a single miniaturized device for future clinical translation. These platforms will enable personalized medicine through individual patient tracking that can be readily used next to the patient’s bedside and will potentially outperform current clinical gold standards in disease diagnostics and therapeutics. Currently, research theme in Poudineh Lab is divided into two main categories:
1. Multiplexed cancer biomarkers profiling
Circulating cancer biomarkers — including circulating tumor cells (CTC), exosomes, and ctDNA — represent a means to profile tumors non-invasively and collect information that can define individualized therapeutic regimens. Exosomes are small membrane-bound cell fragments, between 30 and 150 nm in diameter, and have recently emerged as a new class of cancer biomarkers. These small vesicles are actively secreted by both healthy and cancer cells. The exosomes shed by cancer cells are known to carry molecular markers similar to those of their host tumors; hence, with respect to CTCs, exosomes offer significant advantages as biomarkers, including abundance, diversity and stability, which make them promising markers for cancer diagnosis and cancer monitoring. Also, exosomes exist in large quantities in accessible biofluids such as blood, urine, saliva and ascites
In this project, we focus on multiplexed profiling of exosomes directly from whole blood samples. We aim to develop a technology that can readily isolates exosomes from whole blood sample and sort them based on several cancer markers.
2. Personalized disease diagnostics and therapeutics
In this project, we aim to develop a generalized sensor platform capable of continuously measuring specific disease-related agents (such as cancer cells, bacteria, and diverse range of biomolecule analytes) in the bloodstream and simultaneously delivering the right drug, at the right dose, and at the right time. Such a technology has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare system by enabling truly personalized medicine. Individual real-time tracking will give physicians valuable information about patient’s health condition and thereby yield more effective treatments for a broad range of medical conditions. The integrated platform consists of two main components: a “sensing module” which continuously measures disease biomarkers’ fluctuating levels and a “drug delivery module” which initiates and maintains administration of the optimal drug dose.