Prof. Samuel Lo, Associate Head of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, and Dr Derek Or, Associate Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, have jointly developed a Portable Real-time DNA Biosensor.
The device is designed to perform speedy in situ DNA tests for bio-defence and health surveillance purposes in areas suspected to be contaminated with pathogens and/or undesirable microbes.
Unlike conventional laboratory tests that take at least one or two days, this hand-held, battery-operated and fully automated biosensor is built upon a novel DNA-based bio-chemo-physical conversion method. It is able to detect harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella and staphylococcus, on site within 30 minutes. It can be adapted to cover such deadly viruses as SARS, H5N1 flu and swine flu viruses in future. It can also be re-designed to monitor possible biological attack from anthrax, smallpox and cholera etc.
Comprising a reaction chamber, an ultrasound core and an electronics power board, the new biosensor can test for the presence of a specific pathogen in water and air samples by recognizing the existence of its DNA. When this pathogen is added to the reaction chamber, the further addition of both specific primer-linked thrombin and fibrinogen triggers an innovative molecular bio-chemical reaction. In the case of a DNA primer match, the enzyme will convert fibrinogen into a lump of visible gel that blocks the transmission of ultrasound signals through the reaction chamber. A drop in the ultrasound reading is then a strong indicator of the presence of the target pathogen in the sample.
This invention won a Gold Award at the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland.
This article was first appeared on PolyU Milestone, June 2011 edition.
Inactivate vaccines faster and more effectively using electron beams
23.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences