Bioassay for monitoring the anti-aging effect of cord blood treatment

Theranostics. 2019 Jan 1;9(1):1-10. doi: 10.7150/thno.30422. eCollection 2019.


Background: Treating aged animals with plasma of an early developmental stage (e.g, umbilical cord plasma) showed an impressive potential to slow age-associated degradation of neuronal and cognitive functions. Translating such findings to clinical realities, however, requires effective ways for assessing treatment efficacy; ideal methods should be minimally invasive, amenable for serial assays, cost-effective, and quantitative. Methods: We developed a new biosensor approach to monitor anti-aging therapy. We advanced two key sensor components: i) a blood-borne metabolite was identified as a surrogate aging-marker; and ii) a compact and cost-effective assay system was developed for on-site applications. We treated aged mice either with human umbilical cord plasma or saline; unbiased metabolite profiling on mouse plasma revealed arachidonic acid (AA) as a potent indicator associated with anti-aging effect. We next implemented a competitive magneto-electrochemical sensor (cMES) optimized for AA detection directly from plasma. The developed platform could detect AA directly from small volumes of plasma (0.5 µL) within 1.5 hour. Results: cMES assays confirmed a strong correlation between AA levels and anti-aging effect: AA levels, while decreasing with aging, increased in the plasma-treated aged mice which also showed improved learning and memory performance. Conclusions: The cMES platform will empower both pre- and clinical anti-aging research by enabling minimally invasive, longitudinal treatment surveillance; these capacities will accelerate the development of anti-aging therapies, improving the quality of individual lives.

Keywords: Anti-aging; Arachidonic acid; Biosensor; Magneto-electrochemical sensor; Metabolite profiling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / blood*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods
  • Fetal Blood*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetics / methods
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Plasma / chemistry
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Arachidonic Acid