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

Starpharma initiates new DEPô drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

Ageing can drive progress: Population ageing is likely to boost medicine, nanotechnology and robotics, but increase political risks July 27th, 2016

WSU researchers 'watch' crystal structure change in real time: Breakthrough made possible by new Argonne facility July 27th, 2016

Enhancing molecular imaging with light: New technology platform increases spectroscopic resolution by 4 fold July 27th, 2016

Sensors

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Announcements

Starpharma initiates new DEPô drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

Ageing can drive progress: Population ageing is likely to boost medicine, nanotechnology and robotics, but increase political risks July 27th, 2016

WSU researchers 'watch' crystal structure change in real time: Breakthrough made possible by new Argonne facility July 27th, 2016

Enhancing molecular imaging with light: New technology platform increases spectroscopic resolution by 4 fold July 27th, 2016

Homeland Security

New method can identify chemical warfare agents more easily: The method could help governments protect people from horrifying toxic effects July 15th, 2016

Researchers harness DNA as the engine of super-efficient nanomachine: New platform detects traces of everything from bacteria to viruses, cocaine and metals July 10th, 2016

Electronic nose smells pesticides and nerve gas July 6th, 2016

Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector: Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents July 4th, 2016

Military

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

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

Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma July 26th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Starpharma initiates new DEPô drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma July 26th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 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