Ultra-High-Precision, in-vivo Pharmacokinetic Measurements Highlight the Need for and a Route Toward More Highly Personalized Medicine

Philip A. Vieira, Christina B. Shin, Netzahualcóyotl Arroyo-Currás, Gabriel Ortega, Weiwei Li, Arturo A. Keller, Kevin W. Plaxco, Tod E. Kippin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Clinical drug dosing would, ideally, be informed by high-precision, patient-specific data on drug metabolism. The direct determination of patient-specific drug pharmacokinetics (“peaks and troughs”), however, currently relies on cumbersome, laboratory-based approaches that require hours to days to return pharmacokinetic estimates based on only one or two plasma drug measurements. In response clinicians often base dosing on age, body mass, pharmacogenetic markers, or other indirect estimators of pharmacokinetics despite the relatively low accuracy of these approaches. Here, in contrast, we explore the use of indwelling electrochemical aptamer-based (E-AB) sensors as a means of measuring pharmacokinetics rapidly and with high precision using a rat animal model. Specifically, measuring the disposition kinetics of the drug tobramycin in Sprague-Dawley rats we demonstrate the seconds resolved, real-time measurement of plasma drug levels accompanied by measurement validation via HPLC-MS on ex vivo samples. The resultant data illustrate the significant pharmacokinetic variability of this drug even when dosing is adjusted using body weight or body surface area, two widely used pharmacokinetic predictors for this important class of antibiotics, highlighting the need for improved methods of determining its pharmacokinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences
StatePublished - Aug 16 2019


  • aminoglycosides
  • aptamer-based sensors
  • body surface area
  • pharmacokinetics
  • therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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