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Expert Opinion On Multiplex Biomarker Platforms For Coronavirus Treatment In Near Future



Coronavirus has claimed over a million lives all around the globe. Today no treatment or vaccine against coronavirus is available and social distancing and isolation upon detection is the only way to stop the spread of the virus. Therefore, throughput detection of the virus is a necessity of the time. RT-PCR detection of the viral genome as a biomarker is a primary method to detect the virus. The simultaneous assessment of multiple biomarkers can be a promising solution in the treatment of coronavirus. These multiplex biomarker assay platforms have the potential to quantitate several data via parallel bioanalysis. Several multiplex biomarkers are identified for biomarker assay platforms. Let us explore some promising multiplex biomarker platforms for coronavirus treatment in the near future.

The Cytokine storm

A cytokine storm is a hyper-inflammatory response from the immune cells in retaliation to a pathogen or a drug, triggering excess production of several signaling molecules. Coronavirus infection of the lungs may also result in the production of a cytokine storm. Several early studies have focused on the cytokine storm profile of the coronavirus. COVID-19 studies have reported increased levels of IL-7, IL-2, G-CSF, IP-10, TNFα, MIP-1α, MCP-1, and Ferritin. A separate COVID-19 study found an increased level of IL-6 in the viral infection. Tocilizumab is an immunosuppressive monoclonal antibody, targeting the IL-6 receptors, and the FDA has approved the Phase III clinical trials of Tocilizumab for severe COVID-19 pneumonia treatment. Another study reported that compared to healthy subjects, COVID-19 patients showed increased levels of IL-1β, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-1RA, MIP-1β, IFNγ, GM-CSF, FGF-basic, VEGF, and PDGF.

Multiplex biomarker assay platforms for coronavirus treatment

Biomarker experts use several multiplex biomarker assay platforms to manage the cytokine storm. Plasmonic nanosensor arrays are multisensors capable of detecting six cytokines simultaneously. Using dark-field microscopy, the multisensors via signal transduction mechanism can measure the difference in the localized surface plasmon resonance of the gold nanorods. Graphene oxide fabricated nanoprobes are another type of electrochemical biosensors used in the measurement of cytokines.

The electrochemical transducer multisensor platform is a bioanalytical services capable of multiplex biomarker bioanalysis. It comprises 32 individual electrodes, each equipped with an 8-port manifold to deliver an astonishing 256 measurements. However, they require an independent protein capture step. Bio-Techne, a Minneapolis-based company, has developed a multiplex biomarker immunoassay as a rapid cytokine detection system. The biomarker assay platform runs the bioanalysis study in triplicates using four parallel single-plex ELISA assays. Researchers from Mount Sinai Health System have used this biomarker assay system to study four common cytokines; IL-6, IL-8, TNFα, and IL-1β in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

MILLIPLEX multiplex immunoassay is a promising multiplex biomarker assay platform for the simultaneous quantitation of many critical analytes. The 48-plex Human Chemokine/Cytokine/Growth Factor MILLIPLEX Panel A delivers the analyte profile data observed during a cytokine storm. COVID-19 research studies have used MILLIPLEX biomarker immunoassays to study many aspects of the infection, such as therapeutic effects in COVID-19 pneumonia, the potential of phytomedicines against COVID-19, and the efficacy of potential drug molecules.

Final thoughts

To date, millions of people have died due to COVID-19. Social distancing has flattened the curve, but the virus will not completely eradicate until efficient treatment options or vaccines are available. Until then, biomarker assay platforms have the potential of being an ideal detection and treatment tool against coronavirus.

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