Paulomi Fast-tracks Detection of Viral Responses During Pregnancy with Ella

"Simple Plex assays on Ella gave us speed and efficiency so we could complete our assays quickly, and the high quality of the data meant that we could easily see differences between disease state samples and controls. Plus, sample preparation was so simple it reduced chances of errors significantly."

- Paulomi Aldo, Research Associate and Reproductive Sciences Core Manager, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University

Paulomi Aldo

Making an impact on fetal health

Paulomi Aldo is a Research Associate in Dr. Gil Mor’s reproductive sciences research team in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the manager of the Reproductive Sciences Core at Yale University. The Mor lab works in the field of reproductive immunology, including the immunological environment at the maternal-fetal interface and the local immune response to viral infections during pregnancy.

Dr. Mor’s research team believes pregnancy complications such as pre-term delivery may result from poly-microbial infections. They’ve recently shown that viral infection during pregnancy can lead to fetal inflammation and sensitization to bacterial products. To understand the long-term consequence of pre-term delivery, Paulomi uses pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to investigate the mechanism of the viral infectious response, and determine its impact on inflammation in pregnancy and the fetus.

Snail-pace discovery with ELISAs

Paulomi found the long hours she had to spend running a backlog of samples with Luminex really frustrating. She wanted to measure cytokine and chemokine factors to understand how viral proteins disrupt immune regulation during early pregnancy in human and murine samples. But traditional multiplex assays weren’t practical for evaluating multiple proteins because they were labor intensive, which slowed discovery down. They also weren’t very cost effective because they required large volumes of precious sample. She decided to evaluate different multiplexing technologies that would give her more speed and simplicity but would still be robust enough to detect both low endogenous and high level disease state samples.

High fidelity results, fast

Paulomi found her solution with Simple Plex™ assays on Ella™. They gave her the quick turnaround time she needed for her cytokine analysis with no impact on data quality — something she couldn’t get with other techniques. Simple Plex assays gave her high quality data so she could easily see the differences between disease state samples and controls. She was also really happy with the simple-to-use workflow as it reduced the chance for errors along the way. She didn’t see common multiplexing technology issues with Simple Plex assays either like crossreactivity between different antibody assay components, low sensitivity, high variability, or poor correlation with existing methods.

When she compared results from various immunoassay platforms, Paulomi found that Simple Plex assays not only matched the accuracy of Luminex assays and ELISA, but also gave her better sensitivity and dynamic range, and higher reproducibility with lower sample volumes. She’s now using the Simple Plex 16x4 cartridge on Ella to analyze four endogenous proteins in 16 different supernatant samples and getting it done in an hour.

Big leap forward for healthy pregnancy research

Simple Plex assays have reduced Paulomi’s workload because it’s so easy to use and requires so little hands on time. It’s become her key method for detecting multiple protein markers in critical samples. Today she’s uncovering mechanisms of Zika virus pathology in human and mouse models of pregnancy, and Ella’s helping her define host immune responses to this emerging pathogen. She now has additional panels to look at other immunomodulatory pathways that might play a role in viral immune modulation during pregnancy.

Paulomi’s also recommended Simple Plex assays and Ella to other users in Yale’s core facility as it will let them spend more time on other experiments and projects.

Inspiring future generations of researchers

In addition to her research, Paulomi also coordinates the Discovery to Cure program which gives young individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to participate in and see the value of research with methods like Ella. One of Paulomi’s interns was trained on Ella and generated data on their
own in just a day — with plenty of time to include this data in their final research presentations.

A recent publication

Simple Plex™: A novel multi-analyte, automated microfluidic immunoassay platform for the detection of human and mouse cytokines and chemokines, P Aldo, G Marusov, D Svancara, J David, G Mor, Am J Reprod Immunol (2016); 75(6):678-693.

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