NANOTECHNOLOGY IN BIOMEDICINE - 2.3.2018 - Abstract Dr. Pernagallo

Salvatore Pernagallo, PhD
DestiNA Genomics Ltd. - Operation Director
Salvatore Pernagallo received his MSc in molecular biology in 2004, his specialization in molecular and medical genetics in 2011 both at the University of Catania (Italy), and his PhD in 2010 at the University of Edinburgh (UK). From April 2010 to May 2011 he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh on the developing of substitutive technology for stem cell culture. From April 2011 to August 2014, he worked for DestiNA Genomics Ltd in Edinburgh (UK) and from September 2014 to date in Granada (Spain) for DestiNA Genomica SL, subsidiary of the mother company DestiNA Genomics Ltd. He is an experienced researcher in the use of several innovative tools to detect nucleic acids through the emerging DestiNA chemical reagents, fluorescence technologies and detection and current systems in use by laboratories. First author in publications covering the field, and co-inventor on a number of relevant patents. Currently, he is the operations director with the responsibility of identifying new product and application opportunities for the company, and ensuring the DestiNA technology development and management of collaborative projects.

Integration of Quanterix SR-X with DestiNA Technology for Direct Detection of Unlabelled Nucleic Acids (Single Nucleobase Labelling) DestiNA Genomics Ltd has developed a revolutionary chemistry-based technology with massive global potential in multiple markets, including the medical, veterinary, food, agricultural and forensic sectors. This presentation will describe existing performance of DestiNA’s reagents with Quanterix SR-X.

A nucleic acid test, often called a "NAT” is a molecular technique used to identify genetic variants in biological samples.  Testing for human diseases and illnesses, drug performance and toxicities, pathogenic bacteria and viruses has created an important, multi-billion and rapidly expanding global market.  NAT is increasingly being used in the cost challenged medical health systems, animal health, food safety and pharmaceutical industries. The limitation to its use in clinical diagnosis has been cost, testing errors, and clinician conservatism.    Single Nucleobase Labelling (SNL) technology developed by DestiNA is unique and distinguishable from ALL existing enzymatic methods of nucleic acid analysis. It can be used to identify any known target nucleic acid sequences, including insertion and deletion mutations, as well as non-mutated nucleic acid sequences. This gives the technology a unique, powerful position versus current detection methods [Diaz‐Mochon et al., Angewandte Chemie, 2010, 49, 1809–1812. Pernagallo et al., Sensors, 2012, 12, 8100-8111]. In this study, DestiNA technology is combined with SR-X technology (Quanterix) for developing a novel tool for early detection and quantification of miRNA-122 involved in human liver injury. Recently, researchers have demonstrated that miRNA122 is an early and more sensitive indicator of drug-induced liver injury than the widely used biomarkers such as alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase [Wang et al., PNAS, 2009, 106, 4402–4407]. Moreover, microRNA-122 is used in vitro, to assess the cellular toxicity of new drugs and, the development of a rapid test for detecting microRNA-122 would aid patient care and drug toxicity screening.   Here, we report a PCR-free and label-free detection method that has a limit of detection which enable the direct detection of microRNA-122 by combining DestiNA and SR-X technologies, thereby, in principle, demonstrating the exciting prospect of rapid and accurate profiling of any miRNA related to diseases and toxicology. The integration of Quanterix platform with DestiNA reagents promises to transform and expand routine clinical diagnostic microRNA-based assays with benefits in terms of result consistency, time, cost, and ease of use [Rissin DM et al., PLoS ONE, 2017, 12(7): e0179669].