MIT Department: Biological Engineering
Undergraduate Institution: Stanford University
Faculty Mentor: Robert Langer
Research Supervisor: Junwei Li
I am from Kingston, Jamaica, and I am a Sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. I am currently interested in the application of mechanical principles to biological systems, specifically in drug technology. My goal is to obtain a PhD and become a professor. My hobbies include table tennis, chess, photography and listening to music.
2018 Research Abstract
Amplification System for the Detection of Crohn’s Disease
Janique Lee1, Junwei Li2 and Robert Langer3
1Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
2, 3Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the small and large intestines. Existing diagnostic procedures for Crohn’s disease are underdeveloped, so there has been significant effort to create less invasive tests. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a lysosomal protein found in fecal matter, has been shown to be a viable biomarker for assessing disease status: studies have found significantly higher levels of MPO in patients with active Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) compared to patients without. ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a procedure that is used for detecting or measuring amounts of specific proteins or other substances using their properties as antigens or antibodies; however, a threshold exists for detection, and amplification is often necessary for earlier diagnoses of diseases. Using the Tyramide Signal Amplification (TSA) Technology as a model which amplifies the signal generated by the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP), this project aims to investigate if an even more sensitive antibody/antigen detection technique can be developed using dopamine instead of tyramine, due to its better polymerizing ability. If greater amplification can be achieved using this model, it will be applied to the MPO enzyme. So far, the results have indicated that this technology allows for an amplification of up to 8x the original enzyme signal.