Michigan State University
A proof-of-concept electrochemical biosensor for quickly detecting Bacillus anthracis spores has been developed. The biosensor can detect the target in 6 minutes (from sample application to final readout). Sensitivity is 100-1000 spores per milliliter. The biosensor is reagentless and disposable. For prevention, the biosensor may be used to quickly monitor and check for potential biological contaminants in food products of high economic and health importance in the food supply chain. A quick and regular monitoring of these food products will discourage terrorism and help prevent large scale casualties. In case of a bioterrorism event, the biosensor may be used at the site to quickly screen for the presence of Bacillus anthracis in various media food, water, and even air. A quick screening could result in rapid diagnosis and lead to the implementation of rapid response strategies, thus minimizing both human and economic casualties. The biosensor will be useful in emergency rooms for rapid diagnosis of patients, in borders for on-site evaluation of suspicious materials, and in postal offices for quick screening of suspicious powders.