Development of fluorescent liposomes to detect biological toxins using fluorescence resonance energy transfer
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
"Biological toxins are far more lethal than chemical warfare agents and are easily produced which makes them an ideal weapon for terrorist organizations. Toxins can be deployed either by direct contamination of food or water sources or as airborneaerosols. Researchers from Dakota Technologies, Inc. and North Dakota State University propose to synthesize polymerized liposomes to detect cholera toxin by ligand-specific binding that triggers a fluorescent response from the liposome. Fluorescencewill be time-resolved to provide a means to discriminate against intrinsic liposome fluorescence and sample matrix fluorescence. When Phase I and Phase II are completed there will be an easy to use tool to detect multiple toxins by immersing the sensingwaveguide into the suspect solution. It is anticipated that the proposed tool will be less complex, less expensive, and more sensitive than current technologies. The tool will initially be designed for military use and focus on detection of biologicaltoxins. Modifications of the liposomes will allow detection of other pathogens such as E. Coli and the influenza virus making the tool useful in the food and medical industries as well. The proposed research will result in a tool that can be used todetect and quantify biological toxins such as botulinum toxin, cholera toxin, and ricin. These are extremely lethal compounds that in the hands of a terrorist pose a very real threat to society. Beyond the military application to biological toxins, thetool will also be used in the food and medical industry to detect pathogens such as E. Coli and influenza."
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Dakota Technologies, Inc.
2201-A 12th St. N Fargo, ND 58102
Number of Employees:
North Dakota State University
Tech Park Bldg 1, Room 106
Fargo, ND 58105
Nonprofit college or university