Nanotech biosensor developed for multipathogen detection

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

A prototype nanotechnology-engineered biosensor could help
processors detect multiple pathogens faster and more accurately
than current devices.

The device, which was developed by scientists Yang Liu, Shantanu Chakrabartty and Evangelyn Alocilja at Michigan State University, can also measure the amount of pathogen contamination on a particular food or machine, giving processors more data to determine the extent of a problem. Their research was published in the 24 October issue of the Nanotechnology journal. Their paper describes how the nano-biosensor works as a molecular transistor, triggered by the presence of specific pathogens on an immunosensor. The transistor works by processing data through fundamental logic gates. The logic gates operate by converting binding events between an antigen and an antibody into a measurable electrical signal using polyaniline nanowires as the transducer. The logic gates are created by patterning antibodies at different spatial locations in an immunosensor assay. Immunosensors are biosensors that use antibodies to recognize the presence of a pathogen. In their study, B. cereus and E. coli were used as model pathogens. Their tests were validated by taking measurements with different pathogen concentrations. "Experimental results show that the change in conductance across the gates can be modeled as a log-linear response with respect to varying pathogen concentration,"​ they stated. According to Nanowerk immunosensors allow any compound to be analysed as long as specific antibodies are available and are of high sensitivity. The scientists say their research demonstrates that the change in conductance across the logic gates can be modeled to give a response giving data on varying pathogen concentration. They say their research can be used as a means of designing a multi-array 'computational biosensor' that will be able to correct detection errors introduced by environmental variations, non-specific antigen-antibody binding and other factors that may give rise to false readings. Fundamental building blocks for molecular biowire based forward error-correcting biosensors is published in Nanotechnology​, 24 October issue. Yang Liu, Shantanu Chakrabartty and Evangelyn C Alocilja.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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