Detection of Bacillus subtilis spores using peptide-functionalized cantilever arrays

Published in:

Journal of the American Chemical Society 128,11 (2006) 3716-3721;


We move beyond anti body-antigen binding systems and demonstrate that short peptide ligands can be used to efficiently capture Bacillus subtilis (a simulant of Bacillus anthracis) spores in liquids. On an eight-cantilever array chip, four cantilevers were coated with binding peptide (NHFLPKV-GGGC) and the other four were coated with control peptide (LFNKHVP-GGGC) for reagentless detection of whole B. subtilis spores in liquids. The peptide-ligand-functionalized microcantilever chip was mounted onto a fluid cell filled with a B. subtilis spore suspension for similar to 40 min; a 40 nm net differential deflection was observed. Fifth-mode resonant frequency measurements were also performed before and after dipping microcantilever arrays into a static B. subtilis solution showing a substantial decrease in frequency for binding-peptide-coated microcantilevers as compared to that for control peptide cantilevers. Further confirmation was obtained by subsequent examination of the microcantilever arrays under a dark-field microscope. Applications of this technology will serve as a platform for the detection of pathogenic organisms including biowarfare agents.


biological weapon;; escherichia-coli;; anthracis spores;; globigii spores;; microcantilever;; ligands;; pcr;; bioterrorism;; management;; interface

Date of this Version

January 2006

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