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Capture and Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) in Complex Food Matrices using Novel Biosensor Platforms

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
In an effort to improve early BoNT/A detection, we have developed four different sensors to capture and detect botulinum neurotoxin. 1. toxin-responsive hydrogel sensors, 2. self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), SAMs consisting of an immobilized synthetic peptide that mimicked the toxin's in vivo...

A Simple and Rapid Method for the Simultaneous Purification and Concentration of Nucleic Acids and Proteins from Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Charles Young
The objective of this research is to evaluate the potential for an electrophoretic method known as isotachophoresis to simultaneously concentrate and purify nucleic acids and proteins from difficult food matrices. The method, initially developed using Internal Research and Development (IRAD) money...

Integrating Microbial Target Capture with Flow Field Fractionation for Lab on a Chip Device for Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Suresh Pillai
The goal of this project is to design, optimize, and test a prototype device for pre-analytical processing and sample acquisition to enable the separation and concentration of bacterial endospores from large volumes of milk and apple juice. In this supplemental funding cycle, we will expand our...

Development of Biologically Modified Electrically-active Magnetic Nanoparticles (nano-BEAMS) for Direct Capture and Concentration of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Cells in Various Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Evangelyn Alocilja
This project has 4 objectives, namely: (1) to synthesize and characterize electrically-active magnetic nanoparticles, (2) to biologically modify the nanoparticles (nano-BEAMs) with antibodies and aptamers specific to the target Bacillus anthracis and optimize the binding parameters, (3) to evaluate...

Extraction and Concentration of Chemical (Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine) and biological (ricin) toxins using Molecular Imprinted Electrospun Fibers Coupled with Detection at Aptamer Modified Polymer Electrodes

Principal Investigator: 
Keith Warriner
On-site screening of biohazards is an essential tool to contain or prevent dissemination of toxic agents within the food chain. Although there are highly sensitive laboratory based systems available for biohazard detection the majority require a high degree of technical expertise and cannot be...

Thermal and Chemical Inactivation of Select Agent Toxins in Liquid Foods

Principal Investigator: 
Francisco Diez-Gonzalez
The overall goal of this project is to characterize the thermal and chemical stability of selected toxins in milk and juices and to investigate the conditions for their rapid inactivation. The specific goals of this project are: 1. Characterize the thermal stability of ricin, abrin, staphylococcal...

Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Ricin from Liquid Foods and its Potential Utilization for Inline Detection

Principal Investigator: 
Francisco Diez-Gonzalez
The major objectives of this project are to identify a method for efficient extraction and concentration of Bacillus anthracis spores and ricin toxin from milk and orange juice, and to identify compatible rapid detection technologies. In addition to the major project objectives, a method for PCR...

Validation of Methods for Decontamination of Food Processing Equipment and Facilities

Principal Investigator: 
Alvin Lee
The goal of this project is to validate the effects of various cleaning and liquid/gaseous sanitizing protocols for decontamination of food processing equipment and facilities with spores of several potential surrogate Bacillus species including B. anthracis Sterne strains, with validation under...

Identification and Characterization of Temperature-dependent Virulent Genes in Y. pestis, .Y pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica.

Principal Investigator: 
Teshome Yehualaeshet
Important pathogens in the genus Yersinia include the plague Yersinia pestis and two enteropathogenic species, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica. Y. pestis is a potential agent as a terrorist weapon, either in a covert or overt manner. Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis share...

Stability of Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) in Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
The traditionally safe U.S. food supply may be an attractive target for bioterrorists intent on causing large numbers of casualties, or with the intention of creating nationwide panic about the safety of foods. Deliberate contamination of food or beverages may be the most likely route of botulinum...

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