Novel Light-Emitting Biosensor Molecule Enables Quick Drug Monitoring


Monitoring the drug concentration in patients is critical for effective treatment, especially in cases of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, and immunosuppression after organ transplants. Current methods are expensive, time-consuming, and require dedicated personnel. Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) introduce light-emitting sensor proteins that can quickly and simply show how much drug is in a patient's bloodstream. The novel biosensor molecule works by binding the drug circulating in the patient's bloodstream and changing color accordingly. The method is so simple that it could be used by patients themselves. The EPFL scientists envision a handheld detector where the patient can take a pin-prick of blood and have an immediate reading of drug concentration, much like diabetics do now for blood glucose.