Microdevice-integrated immunoassays for Point-of-Care Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

A significant number of drugs exhibit narrow therapeutic windows and high inter-individual pharmacokinetic variability. In such cases, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) is compulsory in order to optimize the efficacy of the drug while avoiding adverse effects. Concentration measurements required for dose-adjustments are however complex and are therefore only performed at specialized facilities. The development of a device for accurate whole-blood quantification of critical drugs at the Point-of-Care (POC) would enable fast time-to-result and provide a more convenient solution to patients. This thesis aimed at the design of sample-to-result devices comprising microstructures that allowed for the quantification of small molecules in blood. The designs were based on the development and use of miniaturized fluorescence polarization immunoassays (FPIA). The main feature offered by the FP assay format was the ability to perform homogeneous measurements with no separation or washing steps required. An important result of this thesis is the demonstration that the concentration of small drugs can be quantified in whole blood within paper-like membranes using Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay (FPIA). Different types of paper-like materials such as glass microfibers, cellulose and filter paper were screened for artefacts such as scattering or autofluorescence. Accurate determination of the fluorescence polarization of red-emitting fluorophores at sub-nanomolar concentrations was found possible within glass fiber membranes. This enabled the development of a competitive immunoassay for the quantification of the antibiotic tobramycin using only 1 L of plasma in glass fiber micro-chambers. Furthermore, the same membrane was used for transversal separation of blood cells followed by accurate FPIA read-out at the bottom part of the micro-chamber. Within the therapeutic window, coefficients of variation were around 20% and recoveries between 80-105%, demonstrating the ability to run quantitatively both clinical chemistry and sample preparation by incorporating FPIA in glass fiber membranes. Another important step towards a POC device was the design of a compact, bench-top FP-based analyzer. In this case, glass capillaries were used as detection chambers as they cause little light scattering and for reasons of convenience. Furthermore, the new optical system was employed for tobramycin quantification previously spiked in plasma samples showing good analytical performance in terms of coefficients of variation and recoveries within the therapeutic range of the drug. A more challenging class of drugs are the immunosuppressants, administered in cases of organ transplantation. Here, several fluorescent derivatives of tacrolimus at different wavelengths were synthesized. Their affinity for various biorecognition molecules were tested allowing the choice of a ligand-receptor pair for the development of a FPIA for tacrolimus quantification in buffer. Next, attempts were undertaken to adapt the immunoassay for analysis in whole blood samples. Considerable challenges due to the complexity of the matrix were revealed and initiated efforts to improve the whole blood preparation techniques with the aim of quantifying tacrolimus within its therapeutic range. With the aim of paving the way towards personalized therapies, this thesis makes the realisation of a POC for TDM a realistic goal.

Guiducci, Carlotta
Segura, Jean-Manuel
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2018-05-03, last modified 2019-06-19

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