290586 Detecting Campylobacter Jejuni in Aqueous Environments Using Whispering Gallery Mode Optical Biosensors

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Emily O'Brien and Heather Hunt, Department of Biological Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Campylobacter jejuni is reported to cause approximately 2.4 million cases of severe gastrointestinal infection per year, and in rare cases, is a life threatening condition.  Developments in environmental monitoring for Campylobacter jejuni in wastewater are highly important for the safety of drinking water and the prevention of food-borne illness.  Current detection methods for Campylobacter jejuni (i.e. ELISA, culture, and biochemical testing) are limited since they are highly intensive and time consuming.  Our method utilizes Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) optical resonators as novel, label-free biosensors to report high sensitivity and specificity in real-time using very low concentrations of our target antigen.  The surface of silica microspheres is selectively functionalized with the antibody species, Anti-Campylobacter.  The target antigen, heat-killed Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 43477, can then be flowed through a micro-aquarium to confirm detection.  The high sensitivity of the device is confirmed at each step of production by testing its Quality Factor.  The surface coverage is evaluated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, fluorescence and optical microscopes.  The confirmation of the technique opens the abilities of these devices to perform as biosensors in real-world scenarios.

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