Label-Free Microbial Biosensors Using Molecular Nanowire Transducers

  • Evangelyn Alocilja
  • Zarini Muhammad-Tahir


There is an increasing public awareness and concern regarding the safety of our food supply. The complexity of the US food supply chain provides numerous entry points and routes in which pathogens and other disease-causing organisms can be introduced into the nation’s food system. Foodborne illness and product recalls have been increasing in incidence. It is not easy to address the hundreds of microbial contaminants associated with microbial foodborne diseases. Conventional methods of identifying these pathogens require 2–7 days. Although these methods are highly sensitive and specific, they are elaborate and laborious. The use of biosensors as emerging technologies could revolutionize the study and detection of these foodborne microorganisms. The development of biosensors will further serve the food industry, agricultural sector, regulatory community, and public health. Biosensor techniques will play an extensive role in understanding the occurrence of contamination at the source during the next decade and help forecast the potential for risk and mitigation before foodborne outbreaks occur. This chapter describes emerging and novel biosensor technologies for rapid and sensitive detection of pathogens of concern to the food supply. Particularly, molecular nanowires as transducers in biosensor devices are covered. Antibody and DNA based biosensors are reviewed and two illustrations on immunosensors are presented.


Surface Plasmon Resonance Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Foodborne Pathogen Antigen Binding Site Foodborne Illness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangelyn Alocilja
    • 1
  • Zarini Muhammad-Tahir
    • 1
  1. 1.Biosystems and Agricultural EngineeringMichigan State UniversityEast LansingMichigan

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