Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Review New Technologies For Detecting Biological Threats

Date:
February 28, 2007
Source:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Summary:
In an effort to detect biological threats quickly and accurately, a number of new detection technologies have been developed.

In an effort to detect biological threats quickly and accurately, a number of new detection technologies have been developed.

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory review several of the latest technologies in the most recent issue (Issue 3, 2007), of the British journal "The Analyst," which appears online at http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/an/.

"It's important to provide a summary of the latest technologies and approaches for sensing systems and platforms that could lead to bioagent detectors for responders to use in the field," said LLNL's lead author Jeffrey Tok. Other authors include Nicholas Fischer and Theodore Tarasow of LLNL's BioSecurity and Nanosciences Laboratory.

One technique, previously described by Tok and colleagues, involves using a barcode system, similar to the barcodes used on retail products, to detect biological agents in the field. Nanowires built from sub-micrometer layers of different metals, including gold, silver and nickel, are able to act as "barcodes" for detecting a variety of pathogens, such as anthrax, smallpox, ricin and botulinum toxin. The approach could simultaneously identify multiple pathogens via their unique fluorescent characteristics.

Another detection strategy involves the development of electrical current-based readout of the nanowires for protein and virus sensing. The wires are arranged as field-effect transistors (FETs), where slight variations at the surface produce a change in conductivity. Developers of this technology predict that a high-density nanowire-circuit array geared toward pathogen detection could be built on a large scale suitable for biosecurity surveillance.

Physical, chemical and optical properties that can be tuned to detect a particular bioagent are key to microbead-based immunoassay sensing systems. A unique spectral signature or fingerprint can be tied to each type of bead. Beads have been joined with antibodies to specific biowarfare agents. This method has been demonstrated in the Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS), a technology developed by Lawrence Livermore researchers. APDS contains an aerosol collector to constantly "inhale" particles from its surrounding environment for analysis.

Microarray-based immunoassay sensing approaches can be used to detect bacteria, such as the E. coli recently found in spinach and other fresh-packed greens. This approach can differentiate pathogens from harmless bacteria. In an analogous technique called aptamer microarray, short single strand chains of DNA (less than 100 nucleotides) are developed that bind to target molecules and fold into complex structures. The folding event results in an easy-to-read electrical charge. This binding-induced signaling strategy is particularly well suited for sensing in complex samples.

In a whole-cell-based immunoassay sensing system, an engineered B lymphocyte cell in which both pathogen-sensing membrane-bound antibodies and an associated light-emitting reporting system are all expressed in vivo. The B lymphocyte cell-based sensing system, termed CANARY, centers on an easily expressed calcium-sensitive bioluminescent protein from the Aequoria victoria jellyfish. When exposed to targeted biowarfare compounds, an increase in photons was observed within the B lymphocyte cells in a matter of seconds. The photon changes can then be easily detected using an inexpensive optical system.

"The ability to miniaturize and adapt traditional bench-top immunoassay protocols to a fully automated micro-or nano-fluidic chip holds tremendous promise to enable multiplex, efficient, cost-effective and accurate pathogen sensing systems for both biodefense and medical applications," Tok said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Researchers Review New Technologies For Detecting Biological Threats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064729.htm>.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (2007, February 28). Researchers Review New Technologies For Detecting Biological Threats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064729.htm
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Researchers Review New Technologies For Detecting Biological Threats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064729.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins