Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Researchers developing nanoscale optical fibers to detect bioterrorist agents

Thomas Inzana
Thomas Inzana

Abstract:
In an age when bacterial agents may be intentionally released as method of terrorist attack, there is an increased need for quick diagnostic methods that require limited resources and personnel. Thomas Inzana, the Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Chair of Bacteriology in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop such a diagnostic test.

Researchers developing nanoscale optical fibers to detect bioterrorist agents

Blacksburg, VA | Posted on January 13th, 2010

He and his co-investigators, James "Randy" Heflin, a professor in the Department of Physics in the university's College of Science, and Abey Bandera, a research assistant professor in the veterinary college, are working to develop nanoscale optical fiber biosensor tests, or assays, for detection of Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia mallei, and B. pseudomallei.

Currently, testing involves either the use of cultures in Biosecurity Level-3(BSL-3) laboratories, or -- since facilities do not have BSL-3 capabilities -- serology or antibody-based testing. Both require extensive materials and training, and the results can take days or weeks.

"This assay will be rugged, portable, inexpensive, and rapid," said Inzana, who is also the associate vice president for research programs at the university. "All of these are critical to minimizing the affect on an intentionally introduced biological weapon."

The increased speed of detection allowed by this new, optical fiber assay will also increase the speed of treatment for those affected, according to Inzana.

The optical fiber is coated with antibodies or DNA that will bind to antigens or DNA in the specimen. When this happens, the light that normally passes through the fiber will be decreased, indicating the presence of a biological agent.

According to Inzana, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Antigens are more abundant and closer to the surface of the agent, but aren't always very specific. DNA, however, is very specific, but is less plentiful and resides deep within the cell.

Inzana and his co-investigators are currently developing assays using both, with the plan to increase their sensitivity and specificity to make them viable options for detection of a variety of biological agents. They have had previous experiences using a similar assay to detect the presence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which received a seed grant from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute to support collaborative research between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic researchers on medical challenges.

"This is very much an interdisciplinary project," said Inzana, "with each of us reliant upon the other."

Inzana earned his bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Georgia, his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was a post doctoral fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine.

His current research focuses on understanding the role of bacterial virulence factors in pathogenesis and host response, and the development of subunit and live vaccines to prevent tularemia and glanders due to the select agents Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia mallei, respectively. His research group is investigating the in vivo development and function of Histophilus somni biofilm formation in the bovine host during pneumonia, myocarditis, and other systemic infections to develop new treatments to prevent biofilm formation, and as a model to study human biofilm infections.

Inzana is board certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology and Public Health and is a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology. He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, and the International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society.

####

About Virginia Tech
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech is now a comprehensive, innovative research university with the largest full-time student population in Virginia.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Susan Trulove

(540) 231-5646

Copyright © Virginia Tech

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

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

3rd Iran-Proposed Nano Standard Approved by International Standard Organization November 22nd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Canatu Launches CNB In-Mold Film for Transparent Touch on 3D Surfaces –in Cars, Household Appliances, Wearables, Portables November 20th, 2014

Sensors

Canatu Launches CNB In-Mold Film for Transparent Touch on 3D Surfaces –in Cars, Household Appliances, Wearables, Portables November 20th, 2014

UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials: University of Oregon microscope puts spotlight on the surface structure of quantum dots for designing new solar devices November 20th, 2014

Spiraling light, nanoparticles and insights into life’s structure November 19th, 2014

New materials for more powerful solar cells: Major breakthrough in solar energy November 11th, 2014

Announcements

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

3rd Iran-Proposed Nano Standard Approved by International Standard Organization November 22nd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Homeland Security

Better bomb-sniffing technology: University of Utah engineers develop material for better detectors November 4th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Military

NRL Scientists Discover Novel Metamaterial Properties within Hexagonal Boron Nitride November 20th, 2014

Two sensors in one: Nanoparticles that enable both MRI and fluorescent imaging could monitor cancer, other diseases November 18th, 2014

Researchers create & control spin waves, lifting prospects for enhanced info processing November 17th, 2014

Penn engineers efficiently 'mix' light at the nanoscale November 17th, 2014

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

SUNY Poly Student Awarded Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy's Postgraduate Research Program: Ph.D. Candidate Accepts Postmaster's Appointment To Conduct Research At Albany NanoTech Complex November 13th, 2014

MEMS Industry Group's 10th Annual Executive Conference Showcases Rapid Innovation in MEMS/Sensors: Emphasizes Spirit of Collaboration, Supporting First Open-Source Algorithm Community, New Standardization Efforts November 10th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring October 27th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites November 20th, 2014

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Protein-engineered cages aid studies of cell functions November 19th, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Implementation of DNA Chains in Designing Nanospin Pieces November 9th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE