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BPN853: Tethered Bacteria-Based Biosensing

Project ID BPN853
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Start Date Tue 2017-Jan-24 16:11:05
Last Updated Wed 2017-Feb-01 08:51:17
Abstract The objective of this work is to construct a low-power biosensor suitable for use in microrobotics applications. The target detection limit is 10 parts per billion and the target response time is on the order of 30 seconds or less. When sensing dissolved analytes, speed, sensitivity, and size are subject to fundamental physical constraints set by diffusion noise. The chemical receptors and pathways used by E. coli during chemotaxis - the cellís motility response to chemicals in the medium - are known to approach the fundamental limits on response time and sensitivity for a cell of its volume, roughly 1 fL. Despite this natural capacity, no modern engineered biosensing system approaches these limits in the same deployable size as a bacterium. We propose to monitor chemotactic motor switching in an array of E. coli cells, each tethered by one flagellum, to estimate the concentration of bioanalytes in their surroundings. We have fabricated microelectrode arrays to monitor solution impedance perturbations as tethered bacterial cells rotate between electrodes, which will eventually allow for the monitoring of bacteria without being tethered to a microscope.
Status New
Funding Source Office of Naval Research (ONR)
IAB Research Area BioMEMS
Researcher(s) Tom J. Zajdel
Advisor(s) Michel M. Maharbiz
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