(174b) Biosensors for Genes, Pathogens, Parasites, Biomarkers and Toxins

Mutharasan, R. - Presenter, Drexel University

Our work over the last decade has examined a number of platforms for detecting significant biological entities.  This includes classical fluorescence based measurements (such as intracellular NAD(H) in bacterial and cell cultures), optical evanescent field sensors for proteins, magneto-elastic film devices and electromechanical resonators, especially cantilevers that have integrated piezoelectric films.  In this talk, I will focus on the latter device as its design has yielded extraordinary sensitivity.  The methods we have developed allow for eliminating false negatives, a critical performance requirement for bioterrorism, medical, environmental and food safety applications. 

The cantilever sensors are self-excited devices that exhibit high-order modes at ~ 0.1 to1 MHz and show sub-femtogram sensitivity. One significant property they demonstrate is that nonspecific binding is low or absent due to the surface being under constant out of plane oscillation.    Several examples of practical importance (E. coli O157:H7, biomarkers, waterborne parasites, food and water toxins, and B. anthracis) will be illustrated using both antibody-based sensors and specific gene sequence as a molecular identifiers, and without an amplification step.

Acknowledgement.  The author is thankful for the following grants that made the biosensor research possible. NSF-CBET 0828987. NSF-CBET 1159841. EPA STAR R833007. EPA STAR R833829. USDA 2006-51110-03641. DoT-PA-26-0017-00. NBIB 5R01EB000720. NCI R43GM083595-01. PA DoH GRID-2011-5A