Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Earlier Detection Of Foodborne Pathogens Using Nanoparticle Biosensor


E. coli

Since even small numbers of pathogenic bacteria can cause illness, it’s important to be able to detect them at low levels.

Share this!

June 21, 2016 | by Sarah Massey, M.Sc.

While food manufacturers perform microbiological testing on their products to ensure they are safe to eat, foodborne pathogens are commonly identified only when individuals become ill. Earlier detection using nanoflower-based biosensors could help prevent cases of foodborne illness, as well as reduce costs associated with food recalls.

Since even small numbers of pathogenic bacteria can cause illness, it’s important to be able to detect them at low levels. Unfortunately, most currently-available biosensors are unable to detect the minute chemical signals released by pathogenic microorganisms.

Researchers at Washington State University think they’ve solved this problem by developing a nanoflower biosensor that can amplify signals from the food pathogen, Escherichia coli O157:H7. Their research was published in the journal, Small.

The biosensor uses a flower-shaped nanoparticle composed of both inorganic and organic compounds. The biosensor is capable of retaining a high level of enzyme activity to detect antigens produced by the diarrhea-causing Escherichia coli O157:H7.

The arrangement of the nanoparticles into a flower shape was no accident; the molecules are arranged like petals on a flower to allow for immobilization of the enzymes used to detect foodborne pathogens at very low levels. By amplifying the chemical signals emitted by the E. coli strain using the nanoparticle biosensor, the researchers found that the bacteria could be detected using a standard pH meter or pH strips.

“We want to take these nanoflowers and create a simple-to-use, handheld device that anyone can use anywhere,” said Yuehe Lin, a professor in WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “It'll be as simple as using a pregnancy test strip or a glucose meter.”

In light of their promising results, the researchers have filed a patent for the technology and are planning to develop biosensors capable of detecting other dangerous food pathogens, including Salmonella.

Tweet: 31 #foodbornepathogens contribute to 48 million cases of illness in US http://ctt.ec/tZcH9+

There are 31 known foodborne pathogens which contribute to the 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the US every year. Just eight of these pathogens are responsible for the majority of the 3,000 foodborne illness-related deaths that occur in the US each year.

Keywords: Food Safety, Nanoparticle, Biosensor


Share this with your colleagues!

Lavazza Acquires Controlling Stake in Canada’s Kicking Horse Coffee

May 26, 2017 - Italian coffee company Lavazza, has secured an 80 percent equity stake in Canadian organic and fair-trade coffee company Kicking Horse Coffee, in a deal worth CAD$215 million.

Featured In: Food News

FDA First: Keytruda Approved for Cancer Treatment Based on Biomarker Alone

May 25, 2017 - For the first time, the FDA has approved a cancer treatment for solid tumors based on the presence of a biomarker, as opposed to specifying a tissue of origin.

Featured In: Biotech News

One Year of Medically Assisted Dying in Canada

May 25, 2017 - In June of 2016, the federal government of Canada passed legislation to legalize medically assisted dying.

Featured In: Life Science News


Top 5 Most Impactful Tweets in Life Sciences During the Last Week


EU IVD Regulation: Top Five Changes for Medical Device Manufacturers to Consider

Thermal Processing Systems for the Food Industry: A Guide to Selecting Thermal Equipment and Technology

Rare Disease & Orphan Drug Development: Cost-Efficient Trial Design to Minimize Cash Burn

eTMF Workflows: Active eTMF to Improve the Quality of Clinical Trials

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.