Detection of Bacterial Signaling Molecules in Liquid or Gaseous Environments

  • Peter EdmonsonEmail author
  • Desmond Stubbs
  • William Hunt
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 692)


The detection of bacterial signaling molecules in liquid or gaseous environments has been occurring in nature for billions of years. More recently, man-made materials and systems has also allowed for the detection of small molecules in liquid or gaseous environments. This chapter will outline some examples of these man-made detection systems by detailing several acoustic-wave sensor systems applicable to quorum sensing. More importantly though, a comparison will be made between existing bacterial quorum sensing signaling systems, such as the Vibrio harveyi two-component system and that of man-made detection systems, such as acoustic-wave sensor systems and digital communication receivers similar to those used in simple cell phone technology.

It will be demonstrated that the system block diagrams for either bacterial quorum sensing systems or man-made detection systems are all very similar, and that the established modeling techniques for digital communications and acoustic-wave sensors can also be transformed to quorum sensing systems.

Key words

Acoustic wave biosensors State-space mapping RFID/biosensors Chemically orthogonal antibodies Antibody promiscuity Vibrio harveyi two-component model 


  1. 1.
    Stubbs, D. D., Hunt, W. D., and Edmonson, P. J. Acoustic Wave Biosensor for The Detection and Identification of Characteristic Signaling Molecules in A Biological Medium, US Patent No. US 7,651,843 B2, issued January 26, 2010.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Van Trees, H. L. (1968) Detection, esti mation, and modulation theory, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wozencraft, J. M., and Jacobs, I. M. (1965) Principles of communication engineering, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hunt, W. D., Sang-Hun, L., Stubbs, D. D., and Edmonson, P. J. (2007) Clues from digital radio regarding biomolecular recognition, IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst 1, 50–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hunt, W. D., Stubbs, D. D., and Sang-Hun, L. (2003) Time-dependent signatures of acoustic wave biosensors, Proc IEEE 91, 890–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zeck, A., Weller, M. G., and Reinhard, N. (1999) Characterization of a monoclonal TNT-antibody by measurement of the cross-reactivities of nitroaromatic compounds, Fresenius J Anal Chem 364, 113–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    James, L. C., and Tawfik, D. S. (2003) The specificity of cross-reactivity: promiscuous antibody binding involves specific hydrogen bonds rather than nonspecific hydrophobic stickiness, Protein Sci 12, 2183–2193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kramer, A., Keitel, T., Winkler, K., Stocklein, W., Hohne, W., and Schneider-Mergener, J. (1997) Molecular basis for the binding promiscuity of an anti-p24 (HIV-1) monoclonal antibody, Cell 91, 799–809.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ober, R. J., Radu, C. G., Ghetie, V., and Ward, E. S. (2001) Differences in promiscuity for antibody-FcRn interactions across species: implications for therapeutic antibodies, Int Immunol 13, 1551–1559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sethi, D. K., Agarwal, A., Manivel, V., Rao, K. V., and Salunke, D. M. (2006) Differential epitope positioning within the germline antibody paratope enhances promiscuity in the primary immune response, Immunity 24, 429–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Campbell, C. (1998) Surface acoustic wave devices for mobile and wireless communications, Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Camilli, A., and Bassler, B. L. (2006) Bacterial small-molecule signaling pathways, Science 311, 1113–1116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rumbaugh, K. P. (2007) Convergence of hormones and autoinducers at the host/pathogen interface, Anal Bioanal Chem 387, 425–435.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rumbaugh, K. P., Diggle, S. P., Watters, C. M., Ross-Gillespie, A., Griffin, A. S., and West, S. A. (2009) Quorum sensing and the social evolution of bacterial virulence, Curr Biol 19, 341–345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rumbaugh, K. P., Griswold, J. A., and Hamood, A. N. (2000) The role of quorum sensing in the in vivo virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Microbes Infect 2, 1721–1731.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rumbaugh, K. P., Griswold, J. A., Iglewski, B. H., and Hamood, A. N. (1999) Contribution of quorum sensing to the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in burn wound infections, Infect Immun 67, 5854–5862.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Edmonson, P. J., and Campbell, C. K. (1992) SAW-based carrier recovery without phase ambiguity for 915 MHz BPSK wireless digital communications, in IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, pp 241–244, Tucson, AZ.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Auld, B. A. (1990) Acoustic fields and waves in solids, 2nd ed., R.E. Krieger, Malabar, FL.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Corso, C. D., Dickherber, A., and Hunt, W. D. (2007) Lateral field excitation of thickness shear mode waves in a thin film ZnO solidly mounted resonator, J Appl Phys 101, 54514–54511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Edmonson, P. J., Hunt, W. D., Corso, C. D., Dickherber, A., and Csete, M. E. An acoustic wave sensor assembly utilizing a multi-element structure, United States Patent Application No.11/822045 filed July 2, 2007.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Corso, C. D., Dickherber, A., and Hunt, W. D. (2008) An investigation of antibody immobilization methods employing organosilanes on planar ZnO surfaces for biosensor applications, Biosens Bioelectron 24, 811–817.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Corso, C. D., Dickherber, A., Hunt, W. D., and Edmonson, P. J. (2008) Passive sensor networks based on multi-element ladder filter structures, pp 538–541, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Edmonson, P. J., and Hunt, W. D. Sensing systems utilizing acoustic wave devices, US Patent No. US 7,608,978 B2, issued October 27, 2009.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Edmonson, P. J., Campbell, C. K., and Hunt, W. D. A surface acoustic wave sensor or identification device with biosensing capability, United States Patent No. 7,053,524 B2 issued May 30, 2006.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mok, K. C., Wingreen, N. S., and Bassler, B. L. (2003) Vibrio harveyi quorum sensing: a coincidence detector for two autoinducers controls gene expression, EMBO J 22, 870–881.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cameron, D. J., and Erlanger, B. F. (1977) Evidence for multispecificity of antibody molecules, Nature 268, 763–765.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Surette, M. G., Miller, M. B., and Bassler, B. L. (1999) Quorum sensing in Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Vibrio harveyi: a new family of genes responsible for autoinducer production, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96, 1639–1644.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zen Sensing LLC.DecaturUSA

Personalised recommendations