22 May 2015 Quartz crystal microbalance biosensor for rapid detection of aerosolized microorganisms
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Biological warfare agents (BWAs) represent the current menace of the asymmetric war. The early detection of BWAs, especially in the form of bioaerosol, is a challenging task for governments all around the world. Label-free quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) immunosensor and electrochemical immunosensor were developed and tested for rapid detection of BWA surrogate (E. coli) in the form of bioaerosol. Two immobilization strategies for the attachment of antibody were tested; the gold sensor surface was activated by cysteamine and then antibody was covalently linked either using glutaraldehyde, or the reduced antibodies were attached via Sulfo-SMCC. A portable bioaerosol chamber was constructed and used for safe manipulation with aerosolized microorganisms. The dissemination was done using a piezoelectric humidifier, distribution of bioaerosol inside the chamber was ensured using three 12-cm fans. The whole system was controlled remotely using LAN network. The disseminated microbial cells were collected and preconcentrated using the wetted-wall cyclone SASS 2300, the analysis was done using the on-line linked immunosensors. The QCM immunosensor had limit of detection 1×104 CFU·L−1 of air with analysis time 16 min, the whole experiment including dissemination and sensor surface regeneration took 40 min. In case of blank (disseminated sterile buffer), no signal change was observed. The electrochemical immunosensor was able to detect 150 CFU·L−1 of air in 20 min; also in this case, no interferences were observed. Reference measurements were done using particle counter Met One 3400 and by cultivation method on agar plates. The sensors have proved to be applicable for rapid screening of microorganisms in air.
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Zdenĕk Farka, Zdenĕk Farka, David Kovár, David Kovár, Petr Skládal, Petr Skládal, } "Quartz crystal microbalance biosensor for rapid detection of aerosolized microorganisms", Proc. SPIE 9455, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVI, 945507 (22 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2084606; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2084606

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