"The development of a fiber optic biosensor for detection of S. Enteritidis was the most important accomplishment this year."

Optical biosensors for food pathogen detection

Investigator: Arun K. Bhunia (Department of Food Science)

Project Report 2006 - 2007

» Download Project Report 2006 - 2007

Project Rationale

Our goal was to develop a fiber optic sensor for detecting foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis. We have been able to develop a fiber optic sensor for L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7. We have also developed a sensitive and specific fiber optic detection assay for S. Enteritidis in poultry. The assay was compared with time-resolved immunofluorescence (TRF) for confirmation. An efficient multi-pathogen array, using a flow through immobilization protocol, has also been developed for detection of L. monocytogenes, E. coli and S. Enteritidis. Pilot studies are currently underway to study the binding efficiencies of an antibody-pathogen complex using different surface chemistries in order to have a better understanding of the molecular nature of interactions. This approach will help us increase sensitivity and specificity of binding on the sensor.

Project Objectives

  • Develop and evaluate an antibody-coupled fiber optic biosensor [ANALYTE 2000™] for detection of S. Enteritidis.
  • Develop an efficient, multi-pathogen array using the fiber optic biosensor.
  • Screen and identify monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, developed in our laboratory, for L. monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and S. Enteritidis.
  • Develop efficient surface chemistry protocols for evaluation and quantification of binding interactions of the antibody-pathogen complex on the surface of the fiber optic sensor.
  • Deploy the common selective (SEL) media developed in our laboratory for the enrichment of targeted pathogens.
  • Explore the viability of other biosensor platforms for the development of a multi-pathogen array biosensor.

Project Highlights

The development of a fiber optic biosensor for detection of S. Enteritidis was the most important accomplishment this year. The success of the project provides proof of the principle of detection of S. Enteritidis using an efficient flow through antibody immobilization using a fiber optic biosensor. The low detection level achieved also emphasizes that target specific antibodies developed in our laboratory can be used as bio-probes on fiber optic sensor platforms.