Rapid detection of bacterial spores using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) immunoassay
Stubbs, Desmond D.
Hunt, William D.
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Weaponized spores of a pathogenic bacterium such as Bacillus anthracis are a new critical threat to mankind. The occurrences in New York and south Florida in 2001 showed the potential capability of the spores to be used for mass destruction. Due to their stealthiness during the infection and resistance to harsh environment, an early and prompt detection of the spores before they endanger the population is a significant issue. In this paper, we present a method of instant identification of Bacillus subtilis (nonpathogenic simulant for Bacillus anthracis) spores by constructing a dual quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) immunosensing system. A set of 10-MHz AT-cut QCMs operating in thickness shear mode are employed in an enclosed flowcell. Specificity is maintained through the use of an immuno-sensing layer consisting of monoclonal antibodies raised against spores of a single Bacillus species. The fidelity of sensing parameters is ensured by the presence of a reference device coated with an antibody that is not specific for the target antigen. Associating the QCM response signature with the specific binding of a particular species of Bacillus spore to an antibody has implications for future identification of pathogenic substances.
- COPE Publications