Biosensing tool to detect salmonella holds promise for preventing common food poisoning

Oct 25, 2011

Pick your poison from this smorgasbord of recent salmonella outbreaks in the United States: ground turkey; fresh papayas; alfalfa sprouts. That's in 2011 alone, and the list goes on, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But perhaps not for long, thanks to a promising new biosensor nanotechnology that could identify the presence of salmonella bacteria before contaminated food or animals reach the marketplace.

In the AIP's journal AIP Advances, research collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania and Alabama State University report encouraging early results toward the development of just such a tool.

"The key aspect of our work is that we detect salmonella in a medium that closely resembles the complexity of the real-world applications for food safety surveillance,'' explains Penn's A.T. Charlie Johnson, Ph.D. Carbon nanotubes are novel materials known for their unique atomic architecture. This endows them with remarkable electrical, mechanical, and physical properties. When combined with , such as antibodies, carbon nanotubes have the potential to perform a range of new and useful functions in miniature biotechnology devices – from detecting breast cancer cells to the Penn-Alabama State team's salmonella project.

"The large surface area of carbon nanotubes makes them very sensitive detectors. By combining that with the chemical specificity of antibodies for salmonella, we hope to create a device to protect the public health," explains Johnson. Further research is needed before a biosensor for salmonella is available commercially. But these results help bring the concept a step closer to reality – and to controlling food poisoning outbreaks.

Explore further: Gold nanorods target cancer cells

More information: "A carbon nanotube immunosensor for Salmonella" by Mitchell B. Lerner et al., is published in AIP Advances.

Provided by American Institute of Physics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mexican papayas sicken 99 in US

Jul 26, 2011

Mexican papayas tainted with salmonella have sickened 99 people in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

Salmonella-tainted sprouts sicken 21 in US

Jun 28, 2011

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning in salad sprouts has sickened 21 people in the United States but is not connected to the German E. coli outbreak, health authorities said Tuesday.

US on alert over tainted Mexican papayas

Aug 26, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday issued an "import alert" after nearly 100 cases of salmonella in 23 states were linked to papayas imported from Mexico.

Salmonella causes illnesses in 14 states

Apr 14, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said at least 23 people in 14 states were diagnosed with salmonella poisoning caused by the same contaminated cereals.

New biosensor can detect bacteria instantaneously

Sep 08, 2009

A research group from the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona, Spain, has developed a biosensor that can immediately detect very low levels of Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.