Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Sensors

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives: Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives August 16th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Homeland Security

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

Hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors enable cost-effective detection of neutron signals: Texas Tech University researchers demonstrate hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors as a cost-effective alternative for inspecting overseas cargo containers entering US ports August 17th, 2016

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives: Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives August 16th, 2016

'Second skin' protects soldiers from biological and chemical agents August 5th, 2016

Military

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives August 23rd, 2016

Curbing the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury August 19th, 2016

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

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic