Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > FDA Assessing Feasibility of Using Nanotechnology Test to Detect Anthrax Following a Bioterrorist Attack

Abstract:
Test might be adaptable for use in resource-limited environments

FDA Assessing Feasibility of Using Nanotechnology Test to Detect Anthrax Following a Bioterrorist Attack

Silver Spring, MD | Posted on March 17th, 2009

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed a "proof-of-concept" study of a test that quickly and accurately detects the presence of even the smallest amount of the deadly anthrax toxin.

"The FDA findings could form the basis of a test that allows earlier diagnosis of anthrax infection than currently possible," said Indira Hewlett, Ph.D., the senior author of the study and chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Office of Blood Research and Review, at the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). "The earlier those infected with anthrax can be treated, the better."

A proof-of-concept study is an initial investigation that aims to determine if a new scientific idea or concept holds promise for further development. A report on the results of this study appears in the March issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, a bacteria that forms spores, or dormant cells, which can come to life under the right temperature, nutrients and other conditions to allow growth. Anthrax occurs in humans after exposure to an infected animal or infected animal tissue or when anthrax spores are used as a bioterrorist weapon.

The proof-of-concept study developed by FDA researchers relies on a nanotechnology-based test platform built from tiny molecular-sized particles. This assay, the europium nanoparticle-based immunoassay (ENIA), was able to detect the presence of a protein made by the anthrax bacteria known as protective antigen (PA). PA combines with another protein called lethal factor to form anthrax lethal factor toxin, the protein that enters cells and causes toxic effects.

The researchers showed that ENIA is capable of detecting PA in quantities that are 100 times lower than current tests, such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Both the ELISA and ENIA rely on antibodies that have an affinity for the anthrax protein of interest.

The FDA test is a modified version of ELISA, which is already commonly used to detect anthrax and other infections. The researchers call their new test 'europium nanoparticle-based immunoassay,' because atoms of europium are key to the assay's sensitivity.

The ENIA uses molecular spheres (called nanospheres) covered with thousands of light-emitting atoms of europium that emit light, which acts as a signal that PA is present. The CBER team further enhanced the signal by modifying the nanospheres so they held additional atoms of europium, making the test more sensitive.

The ENIA detected PA in 100 percent of samples of mouse plasma compared to 36.4 percent through ELISA.

Nanotechnology-based tests like the ENIA are rapidly emerging as convenient tools for a variety of laboratory uses, according to Shixing Tang, M.D., Ph.D., a visiting associate scientist in the Laboratory of Molecular Virology, CBER. "ENIA has potential use in an emergency because its relatively simple design makes the technology adaptable to point-of-care uses," said Dr. Tang, the first author of the study.

The researchers developed the ENIA for PA in response to the increased interest in the scientific community for new anthrax assays following the 2001 U.S. anthrax attack that killed five people.

Co-authors of the article, "Detection of Anthrax Toxin by an Ultrasensitive Immunoassay Using Europium Nanoparticles," include Jiangqin Zhao (CBER), Mahtab Moayeri, Zhaochun Chen, Haijing Hu, Robert H. Purcell, and Stephen H. Leppla (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health), and Harri Harma (University of Turku, Finland).

####

About FDA
The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

Contacts:
Media:
Karen Riley
301-827-6244

Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 6th Annual NYC Investor Summit 2017 November 16th, 2017

Possible Futures

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Demonstrates Industry-Leading 112G Technology for Next-Generation Connectivity Solutions: High bandwidth, low power SerDes IP portfolio enables ‘connected intelligence’ in data centers and networking applications November 15th, 2017

Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3-D microstructures: Forgeries and product piracy are detrimental to society and industry -- 3-D microstructures can increase security -- KIT researchers develop innovative fluorescent 3-D stru November 15th, 2017

Sensors

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft: MSU scientists are developing nanostructured gas sensors that would work at room temperature November 10th, 2017

Practical superconducting nanowire single photon detector with record detection efficiency over 90 percent November 9th, 2017

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health November 4th, 2017

Announcements

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 6th Annual NYC Investor Summit 2017 November 16th, 2017

Military

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft: MSU scientists are developing nanostructured gas sensors that would work at room temperature November 10th, 2017

Leti Joins DARPA-Funded Project to Develop Implantable Device for Restoring Vision November 9th, 2017

Nanoshells could deliver more chemo with fewer side effects: In vitro study verifies method for remotely triggering release of cancer drugs November 8th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project