DBC has been awarded a 2-year Phase I SBIR from NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for a study comparing DBC's continuous, real-time brain sensors to standard methods used to monitor pharmacokinetics of a new drug. This study will be performed with collaborators Drs. Barb Slusher and Dan O'Connor at the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSi). The results are expected to demonstrate the benefits to drug discovery of DBC's aptamer-based biosensors in the brain used in conjunction with neural recordings.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) awarded DBC a Phase I SBIR to pursue the real-time, continuous detection of chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin in the blood stream. The sensor resulting from this project will provide continuous feedback on systemic levels of doxorubicin, or other drugs, to determine individual metabolism of a compound. The ultimate goal of this product is to monitor individuals for exposure to drugs, particularly for cases in which drug levels vary significantly between individuals or for which lifetime exposure of a drug should be limited to prevent toxicity. In the case of doxorubicin, too high an exposure may cause cardiotoxicity. Currently, blood drug level is measured only at a few time points, resulting in an imcomplete and potentially inaccurate profile of a patient's exposure to the drug.
DBC presented a poster titled "High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Aptamer Biosensing on Silicon Neural Probes" at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2014 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The poster session was attended by individuals both interested in implementing our sensing technology to measure previously unmeasured compounds in the brain and by other science tool developers.
DBC sponsored the biannual meeting of the International Society of Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience in LA. We met researchers who use various alternative methods for monitoring molecules in the brain. Scientific presentations on these studies further confirmed our research on these methods. We connected with a number of researchers interested in using our method to detect molecules beyond the reach of existing technologies, such as GABA, substance P, cocaine, acetylcholine, and others. Read more here.
This month, DBC begins sale of its first product line: the Neural Mapping Microsensor (NMM). This product is a microfabricated silicon probe that can be implanted in the brain, or near other peripheral nerves, to record depolarization of single cells. Neuroscientists use NMMs in rat, mouse, fruit fly, dragon fly, and zebra fish models to study the mechanisms behind functions such as memory formation, decision making, and reward response. DBC products are sold through distributor Cambridge NeuroTech.
The goal of this award from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is to measure ethanol concentrations continuously in the brain in conjunction with neurotransmitter GABA measurements. Ultimately, the resulting sensor will be used in alcohol research to understand mechanisms of addiction.
DBC has received two separate Phase I SBIR grants from the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop sensors that measures 1) cocaine and neurotransmitter GABA, and 2) neuropeptide substance P. The goal of this work is to produce a prototype microfabricated sensor that measure these substances in the brain of awake, behaving animals, thus allowing improved studies on the mechanisms behind drug addiction.