Detecting Ricin with Engineered Sensor Switches
OrthoSystems, Inc. creates switchable molecular sensors for bioterror agents and other targets. In this project our OrthoSwitchTM technology platform will be used to develop a rapid diagnostic device for detecting ricin in solution. OrthoSwitchesTM are custom designed molecular sensors that function in the absence of a separation step or attachment to a solid-support. In contrast to antibody-based alternatives, highly selective sensors based on nucleic acids can be engineered to switch between two forms. In Phase I, a bi-stable Ricin OrthoSwitchTM will be tested and improved. This switch will be quenched (dark) in the absence of the ricin, and fluorescent (bright) in its presence; it will be set to trigger from dark to light at a low threshold concentration of ricin. Only the bright form of the switch will present a sequence that is known to have very high affinity for ricin. The described ricin switch will be tested for high sensitivity, selectivity and response time using conventional fluorophore/quencher (FRET) signaling. This ricin switch will then be tested in a prototype detection device developed with technology partners. Commercial applications of our technology lie in rapid detection of biowarfare agents, environmental contaminants, and discovering and evaluating potential antidotes to toxic agents.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2-212 Center for Science and Technology Syracuse, NY 13244
Number of Employees: