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

Research Paper

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

Sang-Hun Bae1*, Ala Jo1,2*, Jae Hyun Park1, Chul-Woo Lim1, Yuri Choi1, Juhyun Oh2, Ji-Min Park1, TaeHo Kong1, Ralph Weissleder2,3, Hakho Lee2✉, Jisook Moon1✉

1. Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University, Gyeonggi-do 13488, Republic of Korea
2. Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3. Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*These authors contributed equally.


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, Metabolite profiling, Magneto-electrochemical sensor, Biosensor

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How to cite this article:
Bae SH, Jo A, Park JH, Lim CW, Choi Y, Oh J, Park JM, Kong T, Weissleder R, Lee H, Moon J. Bioassay for monitoring the anti-aging effect of cord blood treatment. Theranostics 2019; 9(1):1-10. doi:10.7150/thno.30422. Available from