Description:

Background

The concentration of most biomarkers in saliva is remarkably lower than those in blood, which limits the development of saliva-based point-of-care testing and laboratory-based devices for disease diagnostics. However, even though electrochemical methods of biomarker detection have many advantages, including simplicity, speed and inexpensiveness, these methods have not seen much use with real biological samples. One of the aspects limiting the efficacy of electrochemical methods for biological samples (such as saliva), is the interference of numerous other proteins and biomarkers that cause the selectivity and specificity of the test to suffer. One response to these problems is making the saliva sample purer by filtering out any large interfering components, thereby lowering its viscosity and leaving the target biomarker. Currently, saliva collectors masticate an absorbent material such as dental cotton, and further squeeze or centrifuge the absorbent material to procure the collected saliva sample. Suction is widely used in many applications, but there are limited electrical, suction-based, whole saliva collector systems that can be used for point-of-care or laboratory-based testing.

Technology Overview
Principal Investigator Dr. Ming Wang is developing a rapid detection of COVID-19 virus using saliva, leveraging their 10 years of laboratory experience developing salivary sensing technology for glucose and bio-markers for diabetes and other diseases. The proposed invention describes a new method of saliva collection and treatment, and different filter materials are studied which can enable detection of different biomarkers present in saliva. A saliva collection device is constructed and tested to be used in parallel with desired filter materials for an appropriate biomarker detection system. In the invented saliva collector, suction applies a force to produce a partial vacuum by the removal of air and lowering the pressure which further forces fluid into a vacant space; in existing saliva collector technologies, saliva is collected by masticating an absorbent material such as dental cotton, and further squeezing or centrifuging the absorbent material to get the collected saliva sample. Suction is widely used in many applications but, there are limited electrical suction based whole saliva collector systems that can be used for point-of-care or laboratory-based testing. The present invention is a portable whole saliva collector and treatment device that utilizes electrical suction as collection method, which can be used at home or in the laboratory without the surveillance of trained personnel. The concentrations of most of the biomarkers in the saliva are remarkably lower in comparison to blood, which limits the development of saliva-based point-of-care testing and laboratory based devices for disease diagnostics. On the other hand, electrochemical methods of biomarker detection have many advantages including being simple, rapid and inexpensive, but they have not been widely used with real biological samples. One of the aspects limiting the efficacy of electrochemical methods for biological samples (such as
saliva), is the interference of the numerous other proteins and biomarkers that cause the selectivity and specificity of the test to suffer. One response to these problems would be to make the saliva sample purer, filtering out any large interfering components, leaving the target biomarker, and lowering its viscosity. In this invention, this goal is realized by using the proper filter material for each desired biomarker. The proposed filtration system plays a crucial role in bridging laboratory and point-of-care systems with respect to a saliva-based detection technology, and will enable the use of electrochemical processes to measure target biomarkers from saliva in the comfort of one's home.
Benefits

- The device employs an absorbent swab collection method

- The filtration mechanism and the filter material's weight, density and treatment procedure enables filtering out large interfering components from a saliva sample

- Enables the use of electrochemical processes to measure target biomarkers of saliva in any place

- Proposed filtration system plays a crucial role in bridging laboratory and point-of-care systems with respect to a saliva-based detection technology

Applications

- Saliva-based point-of-care tests for health monitoring and disease diagnosis

- Saliva-based bio-sensing systems for home-use

- Saliva-based laboratory tests to improve sensitivity and the detection limit of measurements

- Parallel use with salivary electrochemical detection tests

- Used by elders and infants to collect saliva samples

Opportunity

- License

- Research collaboration

- Partnering

Patent Information:
Category(s):
Diagnostics
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
m.saulich@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Yunqing (Amy) Du
Ming Wang
Keywords:
COVID
Saliva - Based Biosensors
Saliva Collector
Saliva Filtration
Saliva Treatment
Suction - Based Devices