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Biological Threats and Countermeasures

Assessing Message Effectiveness with Diverse Cultural Groups based on Learning Styles

Principal Investigator: 
Robert Littlefield
YR 4 (Phase 1): 1. Prepare risk and crisis messages pertaining to the security and defense of America's food system and media emphasizing five best practices pertaining to audience preferences 2. Refine the instrument used to measure learning style preferences 3. Collect learning style...

Vulnerability Assessment and Reduction of Economic Impact for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry: A Food Defense Assessment for Border Communities in the Southwest United States

Principal Investigator: 
William Nganje
The goal of this project is to use a customized food defense assessment survey to identify food vulnerability gaps (along the US-Mexico fresh produce supply chain) and collect relevant data on existing and potential practices on how such gaps can be bridged. Objectives 1 and 2 focus on risk...

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...

Development of a Multiplex Bio-barcode DNA Biosensor for Bacillus anthracis Detection without PCR Amplification Phase I

Principal Investigator: 
Evangelyn Alocilja
The multiplex DNA-based detection device proposed here is novel and unique: the first design of a bio-barcode DNA amplification for Bacillus anthracis that uses a direct charge transfer (DCT) biosensor for signal measurement. The novelty is in the PCR-less DNA recognition coupled with rapid...

Optimized Detection of Intentional Contamination Using Simulation Modeling

Principal Investigator: 
Don Schaffner
The goal of this project is to develop a computer simulation model which allows the user to specify the container size, contamination prevalence, agent concentration and agent distribution. The model will be able to address differing sampling requirements for agents able to cause illness at very...

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...

Detection and Removal of Select Agents from Complex Sample Matrices: Phase II

Principal Investigator: 
Lee Ann Jaykus
The purpose of this project is to use specific DNA aptamer and peptide ligands for the development of small, robust and inexpensive technologies for separating B. anthracis spores, ricin, and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (capture) from the background components (colloidal substances, nonharmful...

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