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Special Issue "Toxin Sensors"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2008)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Chris R. Taitt (Website)

Code 6900, Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., SW Washington, DC, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As defined for this special issue, toxins are a subset of poisonous materials – bio-organic compounds of biological origin that have a deleterious effect on humans and other higher animals. Although infectious agents can be detected and identified based on their nucleic acid sequences, the presence of an active toxin cannot necessarily be determined based entirely on the presence of its gene sequence. Furthermore, the short timeframe from exposure to clinical manifestation (minutes to hours) requires a rapid turnaround for mitigation and treatment of the toxic effects. Thus, rapid and sensitive sensors are needed to test not only for the presence of toxin, but also its concentration and activity. This special issue is devoted to describing the latest research in development and application of sensors for detection/identification of toxins as well as for diagnosis of intoxication. Specific topics of interest include: basic, proof-of-concept studies of new methods, materials, and systems for toxin detection/identification; use of toxin sensors in new environments or matrices; automation of state-of-the-art toxin sensors; use of sensors to diagnose intoxication, and blind testing of extant toxin sensors with unknown samples. Reviews of systems with demonstrated efficacy for toxin detection are also welcome.

Dr. Chris R. Taitt
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • toxin
  • biotoxin
  • toxic agent
  • biomolecule
  • biosensor
  • detection
  • immunoassay
  • immunosensor
  • antibody
  • receptor

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Discrimination of Select List Agents by Monitoring Cellular Responses in a Multianalyte Microphysiometer
Sensors 2009, 9(3), 2117-2133; doi:10.3390/s90302117
Received: 7 January 2009 / Revised: 15 March 2009 / Accepted: 17 March 2009 / Published: 23 March 2009
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Harnessing the potential of cells as complex biosensors promises the potential to create sensitive and selective detectors for discrimination of biodefense agents. Here we present toxin detection and suggest discrimination using cells in a multianalyte microphysiometer (MMP) that is capable of simultaneously [...] Read more.
Harnessing the potential of cells as complex biosensors promises the potential to create sensitive and selective detectors for discrimination of biodefense agents. Here we present toxin detection and suggest discrimination using cells in a multianalyte microphysiometer (MMP) that is capable of simultaneously measuring flux changes in four extracellular analytes (acidification rate, glucose uptake, oxygen uptake, and lactate production) in real-time. Differential short-term cellular responses were observed between botulinum neurotoxin A and ricin toxin with neuroblastoma cells, alamethicin and anthrax protective antigen with RAW macrophages, and cholera toxin, muscarine, 2,4-dinitro-phenol, and NaF with CHO cells. These results and the post exposure dynamics and metabolic recovery observed in each case suggest the usefulness of cell-based detectors to discriminate between specific analytes and classes of compounds in a complex matrix, and furthermore to make metabolic inferences on the cellular effects of the agents. This may be particularly valuable for classifying unknown toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Reduction of Non-Specific Protein Adsorption Using Poly(ethylene) Glycol (PEG) Modified Polyacrylate Hydrogels In Immunoassays for Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Detection
Sensors 2009, 9(1), 645-655; doi:10.3390/s90100645
Received: 31 October 2008 / Revised: 14 January 2009 / Accepted: 20 January 2009 / Published: 23 January 2009
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three PEG molecules (PEG-methacrylate, -diacrylate and -dimethacrylate) were incorporated into galactose-based polyacrylate hydrogels and their relative abilities to reduce non-specific protein adsorption in immunoassays were determined. Highly crosslinked hydrogels containing amine-terminated functionalities were formed and used to covalently attach antibodies specific for [...] Read more.
Three PEG molecules (PEG-methacrylate, -diacrylate and -dimethacrylate) were incorporated into galactose-based polyacrylate hydrogels and their relative abilities to reduce non-specific protein adsorption in immunoassays were determined. Highly crosslinked hydrogels containing amine-terminated functionalities were formed and used to covalently attach antibodies specific for staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). Patterned arrays of immobilized antibodies in the PEG-modified hydrogels were created with a PDMS template containing micro-channels for use in sandwich immunoassays to detect SEB. Different concentrations of the toxin were applied to the hydrogel arrays, followed with a Cy3-labeled tracer antibody specific for the two toxins. Fluorescence laser scanning confocal microscopy of the tracer molecules provided both qualitative and quantitative measurements on the detection sensitivity and the reduction in non-specific binding as a result of PEG incorporation. Results showed the PEG-modified hydrogel significantly reduced non-specific protein binding with a detection limit for SEB of 1 ng/mL. Fluorescence signals showed a 10-fold decrease in the non-specific binding and a 6-fold increase in specific binding of SEB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Ricin Detection Using Phage Displayed Single Domain Antibodies
Sensors 2009, 9(1), 542-555; doi:10.3390/s90100542
Received: 31 October 2008 / Revised: 13 January 2009 / Accepted: 14 January 2009 / Published: 19 January 2009
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phage-displayed single domain antibodies (sdAb) were compared to monomeric solubly expressed sdAb and llama polyclonal antibodies for the detection of ricin. SdAb are comprised of the variable domain derived from camelid heavy chain only antibodies (HcAb). Although HcAb lack variable light chains, [...] Read more.
Phage-displayed single domain antibodies (sdAb) were compared to monomeric solubly expressed sdAb and llama polyclonal antibodies for the detection of ricin. SdAb are comprised of the variable domain derived from camelid heavy chain only antibodies (HcAb). Although HcAb lack variable light chains, they as well as their derivative sdAb are able to bind antigens with high affinity. The small size of sdAb (~16 kDa), while advantageous in many respects, limits the number of labels that can be incorporated. The ability to incorporate multiple labels is a beneficial attribute for reporter elements. Opportunely, sdAb are often selected using phage display methodology. Using sdAb displayed on bacteriophage M13 as the reporter element gives the potential for incorporating a very high number of labels. We have demonstrated the use of both sdAb and phage- displayed sdAb for the detection of ricin using both enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and Luminex fluid array assays. The phage-displayed sdAb led to five to ten fold better detection of ricin in both the ELISA and Luminex assays, resulting in limits of detection of 1 ng/mL and 64 pg/mL respectively. The phage-displayed sdAb were also dramatically more effective for the visualization of binding to target in nitrocellulose dot blot assays, a method frequently used for epitope mapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Electrochemical Immunosensor Based on Polythionine/Gold Nanoparticles for the Determination of Aflatoxin B1
Sensors 2008, 8(12), 8262-8274; doi:10.3390/s8128262
Received: 19 September 2008 / Revised: 1 December 2008 / Accepted: 2 December 2008 / Published: 15 December 2008
Cited by 48 | PDF Full-text (702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) electrochemical immunosensor was developed by the immobilisation of aflatoxin B1-bovine serum albumin (AFB1-BSA) conjugate on a polythionine (PTH)/gold nanoparticles (AuNP)-modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The surface of the AFB1-BSA [...] Read more.
An aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) electrochemical immunosensor was developed by the immobilisation of aflatoxin B1-bovine serum albumin (AFB1-BSA) conjugate on a polythionine (PTH)/gold nanoparticles (AuNP)-modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The surface of the AFB1-BSA conjugate was covered with horseradish peroxidase (HRP), in order to prevent non-specific binding of the immunosensors with ions in the test solution. The AFB1 immunosensor exhibited a quasi-reversible electrochemistry as indicated by a cyclic voltammetric (CV) peak separation (ΔEp) value of 62 mV. The experimental procedure for the detection of AFB1 involved the setting up of a competition between free AFB1 and the immobilised AFB1-BSA conjugate for the binding sites of free anti-aflatoxin B1 (anti-AFB1) antibody. The immunosensor’s differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) responses (peak currents) decreased as the concentration of free AFB1 increased within a dynamic linear range (DLR) of 0.6 - 2.4 ng/mL AFB1 and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.07 ng/mL AFB1. This immunosensing procedure eliminates the need for enzyme-labeled secondary antibodies normally used in conventional ELISA–based immunosensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Real-time Monitoring of Non-specific Toxicity Using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reporter System
Sensors 2008, 8(10), 6433-6447; doi:10.3390/s8106433
Received: 31 August 2008 / Revised: 27 September 2008 / Accepted: 7 October 2008 / Published: 16 October 2008
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the simplest and most well-known representative of eukaryotic cells and thus a convenient model organism for evaluating toxic effects in human cells and tissues. Yeast cell sensors are easy to maintain with short generation times, which makes [...] Read more.
Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the simplest and most well-known representative of eukaryotic cells and thus a convenient model organism for evaluating toxic effects in human cells and tissues. Yeast cell sensors are easy to maintain with short generation times, which makes the analytical method of assessing antifungal toxicity cheap and less-time consuming. In this work, the toxicity of test compounds was assessed in bioassays based on bioluminescence inhibition and on traditional growth inhibition on agar plates. The model organism in both tests was a modified S. cerevisiae sensor strain that produces light when provided with D-luciferin in an insect luciferase reporter gene activity assay. The bioluminescence assay showed toxic effects for yeast cell sensor of 5,6-benzo-flavone, rapamycin, nystatin and cycloheximide at concentrations of nM to µM. In addition, arsenic compounds, cadmium chloride, copper sulfate and lead acetate were shown to be potent non-specific inhibitors of the reporter organism described here. The results from a yeast agar diffusion assay correlated with the bioluminescence assay results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Magnetic Particle-Based Hybrid Platforms for Bioanalytical Sensors
Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2976-2999; doi:10.3390/s90402976
Received: 19 February 2009 / Revised: 13 April 2009 / Accepted: 23 April 2009 / Published: 23 April 2009
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomagnetic nano and microparticles platforms have attracted considerable interest in the field of biological sensors due to their interesting physico-chemical properties, high specific surface area, good mechanical stability and opportunities for generating magneto-switchable devices. This review discusses recent advances in the development [...] Read more.
Biomagnetic nano and microparticles platforms have attracted considerable interest in the field of biological sensors due to their interesting physico-chemical properties, high specific surface area, good mechanical stability and opportunities for generating magneto-switchable devices. This review discusses recent advances in the development and characterization of active biomagnetic nanoassemblies, their interaction with biological molecules and their use in bioanalytical sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Open AccessReview Toxin Detection by Surface Plasmon Resonance
Sensors 2009, 9(3), 1339-1354; doi:10.3390/s9031339
Received: 3 November 2008 / Revised: 19 January 2009 / Accepted: 20 February 2009 / Published: 26 February 2009
Cited by 52 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Significant efforts have been invested in the past years for the development of analytical methods for fast toxin detection in food and water. Immunochemical methods like ELISA, spectroscopy and chromatography are the most used in toxin detection. Different methods have been linked, [...] Read more.
Significant efforts have been invested in the past years for the development of analytical methods for fast toxin detection in food and water. Immunochemical methods like ELISA, spectroscopy and chromatography are the most used in toxin detection. Different methods have been linked, e.g. liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS), in order to detect as low concentrations as possible. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is one of the new biophysical methods which enables rapid toxin detection. Moreover, this method was already included in portable sensors for on-site determinations. In this paper we describe some of the most common methods for toxin detection, with an emphasis on SPR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Figures

Open AccessReview Na+,K+-ATPase as the Target Enzyme for Organic and Inorganic Compounds
Sensors 2008, 8(12), 8321-8360; doi:10.3390/s8128321
Received: 3 November 2008 / Revised: 9 November 2008 / Accepted: 11 December 2008 / Published: 15 December 2008
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This paper gives an overview of the literature data concerning specific and non specific inhibitors of Na+,K+-ATPase receptor. The immobilization approaches developed to improve the rather low time and temperature stability of Na+,K+-ATPase, as [...] Read more.
This paper gives an overview of the literature data concerning specific and non specific inhibitors of Na+,K+-ATPase receptor. The immobilization approaches developed to improve the rather low time and temperature stability of Na+,K+-ATPase, as well to preserve the enzyme properties were overviewed. The functional immobilization of Na+,K+-ATPase receptor as the target, with preservation of the full functional protein activity and access of various substances to an optimum number of binding sites under controlled conditions in the combination with high sensitive technology for the detection of enzyme activity is the basis for application of this enzyme in medical, pharmaceutical and environmental research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Figures

Open AccessReview Array Biosensor for Toxin Detection: Continued Advances
Sensors 2008, 8(12), 8361-8377; doi:10.3390/s8128361
Received: 31 October 2008 / Revised: 26 November 2008 / Accepted: 9 December 2008 / Published: 15 December 2008
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following review focuses on progress made in the last five years with the NRL Array Biosensor, a portable instrument for rapid and simultaneous detection of multiple targets. Since 2003, the Array Biosensor has been automated and miniaturized for operation at the [...] Read more.
The following review focuses on progress made in the last five years with the NRL Array Biosensor, a portable instrument for rapid and simultaneous detection of multiple targets. Since 2003, the Array Biosensor has been automated and miniaturized for operation at the point-of-use. The Array Biosensor has also been used to demonstrate (1) quantitative immunoassays against an expanded number of toxins and toxin indicators in food and clinical fluids, and (2) the efficacy of semi-selective molecules as alternative recognition moieties. Blind trials, with unknown samples in a variety of matrices, have demonstrated the versatility, sensitivity, and reliability of the automated system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
Open AccessReview Sensors and Biosensors for the Determination of Small Molecule Biological Toxins
Sensors 2008, 8(9), 6045-6054; doi:10.3390/s8096045
Received: 19 July 2008 / Revised: 3 September 2008 / Accepted: 5 September 2008 / Published: 26 September 2008
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (76 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is [...] Read more.
The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is indispensable. Sensors and biosensors have emerged as sensitive and rapid techniques for toxicity analysis in the past decade. Several different sensors for the determination of mycotoxins and other small molecule neurotoxins have been reported in the literature, and many of these sensors such as tissue biosensors, enzyme sensors, optical immunosensors, electrochemical sensors, quartz crystal sensors, and surface plasmon resonance biosensors are reviewed in this paper. Sensors are a practical and convenient monitoring tool in the area of routine analysis, and their specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility and analysis stability should all be improved in future work. In addition, accuracy field portable sensing devices and multiplexing analysis devices will be important requirement for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)

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