Preparing for the next pandemic: Using a novel SPOC SPR assay for diagnosis and biosurveillance for a large panel of respiratory pathogens in a single assay

B. Takulapalli, C. Agu, R. Cook, W. Martelly, L. Gusghari
SPOC Proteomics,
United States

Keywords: multiplexed diagnostics, kinetic proteomics, surface plasmon resonance, disease x, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, biosurveillance


COVID-19 is only one of numerous emerging pathogens of pandemic potential. Rapidly customizable, highly multiplexed assays capable of providing results in a matter of minutes are essential for future pandemic preparedness. In a pandemic scenario, the causative organism is unknown and reliance on PCR-based detection methods limits our surveillance capabilities due to the need for a priori knowledge of the pathogen sequence. Without highly multiplexed tests, diagnosis is precluded by confounding symptoms, resulting in less effective symptom-based treatments rather than targeted antimicrobials. Sensor-integrated proteome on chip (SPOC) was developed as a kinetic proteomics platform to address these diagnostic and biosurveillance challenges. SPOC utilizes plasmid DNA arrays to synthesize full-length proteins in vitro which are simultaneously capture-purified directly onto gold-coated surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor chips, with up to 2,400 pathogen proteins per chip. This production method democratizes kinetic proteomics by effectively reducing costs 10-100x compared to traditional recombinant protein workflows. Use of SPR real-time biosensing enables SPOC to be the only proteomics platform capable of simultaneous detection of analyte binding in 50 pathogens and emerging diseases of pandemic potential, spanning viruses, bacteria, and fungi for biosurveillance and pandemic preparedness. We envision such a biosensor being used to initially identify the pathogen family causing the outbreak to enable rapid deployment of medical countermeasures and facilitate rapid vaccine development and drug discovery.