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Issue Date: 13-Mar-2017
Authors: Aura, Angela Margherita
Title: Surface plasmon resonamce imaging biosensors for the detection of pathognes and toxins in food
Abstract: The detection of pathogens and toxins in food represents an essential requirement for food quality control. Standard methods for pathogen detection rely on laborious and time-consuming growth of pathogens in different culture media followed by biochemical or serological identification. Such methods often operate with poor sensitivity and selectivity. In recent years, efforts have been made to provide rapid, reliable and sensitive detection platforms for foodborne pathogens detection. The demand for more rapid, sensitive and accurate methods has been push forward by the implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) protocols. In this context, biosensing platforms provide promising alternatives for the detection of pathogens and toxins with good selectivity and sensitivity. In particular, optical biosensors based on Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging (SPRI) are attractive because they allow the sensitive detection of analytes from food matrices in real-time. SPRI can assays crude samples without purification and can exploits antibodies or single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) probes for the specific detection of pathogens and toxins with high sensitivity. My research activity has been aimed at developing SPRI biosensors able to detect pathogens and toxins in food matrices in a rapid, specific and sensitive way. In this perspective, specific oligonucleotide sequences and antibodies have been used for the detection of DNA and bacterial toxins, respectively. SPRI biosensor sensitivity benefited of the use of properly functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The combination of the SPRI sensing apparatus with microfluidics devices reduces the amount of sample needed for the analysis and provides an efficient environment for the detection.
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