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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 11, 2007

In the study, Raj Mutharasan and colleagues point out that rapid measurements of very low concentrations of pathogens and proteins could have wide application in medical diagnostic testing, monitoring for biothreat agents, detecting contaminated food products and other areas. Existing tests for low-level pathogens, however, take time because they require a step to boost the concentration of microbes in a sample. No direct test currently exists for low-levels of proteins, the report adds.

The study describes use of the biosensor to detect E. coli in ground beef and other materials at some of the lowest concentrations ever reported. At the heart of the new biosensor is a vibrating cantilever, with a tiny beam supported at one end and coated with antibodies at its other, free-moving end. The antibodies are specific to the material being detected, such as E. coli, anthrax or proteins that are biomarkers for disease. When that antigen is present in a sample flowing through the biosensor, it binds to the cantilever and alters the frequency of vibration in a way that can be detected electronically.

ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Method for Label-Free Detection of Femtogram Quantities of Biologics in Flowing Liquid Samples"

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CONTACT:
Raj Mutharasan, Ph.D.
Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Phone: 215-895-2236
Fax: 215-895-5837
Email: mutharasan@drexel.edu


ARTICLE # 5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, April 16, 20
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
16-Apr-2007


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