Translational Technologies

Developing Biosensors for Efficacy & Safety Testing


Human primary hepatocytes expressing an apoptosis-sensitive, mitochrondrial localized
fluorescent protein biosensor (green). Treatment with 100µM menadione induces
apoptosis and subsequent loss of fluorescent signal.


Fluorescent protein biosensors are being developed to report aberrant intracellular cell signaling events associated with disease pathologies. The aim is to allow early, mechanistic-based detection of different cellular toxicities, known as modes of action, for use in microplate assays and 3D human microfluidic organoid models. Fluorescent protein biosensors for ROS, apoptosis, Ca++, motility, and biomarker location have already been developed and applied to microphysilogical systems (Senutovitch, N., L. Vernetti, R. Boltz, R. DeBiasio, A. Gough, and D.L. Taylor; Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2015, 240: p. 795–808). Additional target biosensors being developed include oxidative stress, xenobiotic metabolism and hypoxia induction.