A Regenerable Biosensing Platform for Bacterial Toxins

E. Eduardo Antunez, Clare S. Mahon, Ziqiu Tong, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Markus Mullner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Waterborne diarrheal diseases such as travelers' diarrhea and cholera remain a threat to public health in many countries. Rapid diagnosis of an infectious disease is critical in preventing the escalation of a disease outbreak into an epidemic. Many of the diagnostic tools for infectious diseases employed today are time-consuming and require specialized laboratory settings and trained personnel. There is hence a pressing need for fit-for-purpose point-of-care diagnostic tools with emphasis in sensitivity, specificity, portability, and low cost. We report work toward thermally reversible biosensors for detection of the carbohydrate-binding domain of the Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LTB), a toxin produced by enterotoxigenic E. coli strains, which causes travelers' diarrhea. The biosensing platform is a hybrid of two materials, combining the optical properties of porous silicon (pSi) interferometric transducers and a thermoresponsive multivalent glycopolymer, to enable recognition of LTB. Analytical performance of our biosensors allows us to detect, using a label-free format, sub-micromolar concentrations of LTB in solution as low as 0.135 μM. Furthermore, our platform shows a temperature-mediated "catch-and-release"behavior, an exciting feature with potential for selective protein capture, multiple readouts, and regeneration of the sensor over consecutive cycles of use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441–453
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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