Tear fluid contains various biomarkers for diseases.
More than 3000 kinds of proteins are found in tears, and the eyes are connected directly with
the central nervous system acting as a warning light for detecting various types of central
nervous system diseases.
A study has found the possibility of detecting Alzheimer's disease by its patients showing amyloid deposits in the retina of the eye. Parkinson's disease patients have been reported to have higher alpha-synuclein oligomer levels in their tears (Southern California University experiment results, 2018)
It is also reported that lacryglobin protein contained in tears can be used to diagnose various types of cancer. Breast cancer patients are reported to have a specific pattern of tear protein, adding on to the expection that early diagnosis of various cancers will be possible.
Several studies have reported changes in composition of tears in response to systemic pathophysiologic
conditions, rendering tears as an alternative source of biomarkers.
Following such discovery was the development of the technology to functionalize the surface of contact lenses with DNA based aptamers, enabling detection of biomarkers in tears especially Amyloid-β to diagnosis the Alzheimer’s Disease in earlier stage.
The single-stranded DNA aptamers are able to recognize Amyloid-β specifically with high affinity and which are covalently attached to the surface of contact lenses.
This aptamer functionalized contact lenses overcome the limit of one-time detection by continuously detecting Amyloid-β in tears throughout wearing period, enhancing the sensitivity of diagnosis using trace amounts of biomarkers in tear fluids.
AAble to capture various biomarkers including Amyloid-β and Tau
Accuracy of results
Detection throughout wearing period reducing errors
In Vitro + In Vivo
Combined the advantages of the two methods, increasing safety and result accuracy at the same
Does not induce immune reaction in the body
Ensured during delivery and storage of DNA
Easy to use, easily accessible and cost-effective
Microneedle skin patch
As the paradigm of healthcare shifts from “treatment” to “prevention” of diseases, early diagnosis has become crucial. We have been researching and developing skin patches that detect Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and various other diseases by capturing target biomarkers.
aptamer coated microneedle skin patch
Aptamer is capable of simultaneously diagnosing various diseases. It can be produced in a short time at low cost. Because aptamer is produced by chemical synthesis, there is less variation between batches, and the chemical modification can easily be conducted. It can be stored for a long time with high thermostability.
Applying various methods including the ELISA, we have developed aptamers that bind to specific HRP2 proteins that are overexpressed in patients with malaria.
We are in process of developing aptamers targeting Tau and Amyloid beta (Aβ).
Lewy body is an abnormal inclusion body which causes Parkinson’s Disease. Alphasynuclein is a major component of Lewy body and is presented as a monomer in normal conditions, but toxic amyloid oligomers are generated in a pathological environment. We are developing aptamers that capture these oligomers.