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Lab in a tube: Point-of-care detection of Escherichia coli

AuthorsAmin, Niloufar; Sena-Torralba, Amadeo; Álvarez-Diduk, Ruslan CSIC ORCID; Afkhami, Abbas; Merkoçi, Arben CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2020
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationAnalytical Chemistry 92(6): 4209–4216 (2020)
AbstractSignificant levels of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria are nowadays a worldwide matter, carrying considerable public health care challenges and huge economic concerns. Because of the rapid transmission of these biothreat agents and the outbreak of diseases, a rapid detection of pathogens in early stages is crucial, particularly in low-resources settings. To this aim, we developed for the first time a new sensing approach carried out in a single step for Escherichia coli O157:H7 detection. The detection principle is based on Förster resonance energy transfer using gold nanoclusters as a signal reporter and gold nanoparticles conjugated with antibodies as a quencher. The sensing platform includes an ultraviolet-light-emitting diode to provide the proper excitation and consists of a microtube containing two pieces of fiber glass; one of them is embedded with label-free gold nanoclusters and the other one with gold nanoparticles conjugated with antibodies. Upon the addition of the sample containing bacteria, the florescence of gold nanoclusters is recovered. The assay was evaluated by the naked eye (on/off) and quantitatively with use of a smartphone camera. The biosensor proved to be highly specific and sensitive, achieving a limit of detection as low as 4.0 cfu mL–1. Additionally, recoveries of 110% and 95% were obtained when the platforms in spiked river and tap water, respectively, were evaluated.
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