One-Step Functionalization of Silicon Nanoparticles with Phage Probes to Identify Pathogenic Bacteria

  • Maria Giovanna RizzoEmail author
  • Laura M. De Plano
  • Sara Crea
  • Domenico Franco
  • Santi Scibilia
  • Angela M. Mezzasalma
  • Salvatore P. P. Guglielmino
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 539)


Optical biosensors are powerful alternatives to the conventional analytical techniques, due to their particular high specificity, sensitivity, small size, and cost effectiveness. Although promising developments of optical biosensors are reported, new bioprobes of cheap and easy synthesis are required, for detection of eukaryotic cells or dangerous infectious agents. In this regard, silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) can be used as nanoplatform owing to their high specific surface area, optical properties and biocompatibility. They can also be functionalized with bio-probes and used in diagnostic applications. Different methods are described to obtain a stable bond between SiNPs and probes such as nucleotides, antibodies or peptides; however, the latter show many disadvantages about folding instability and sensitivity during the functionalization. Phage Display is a technique for the screening and selection of peptide ligands, that uses an engineered filamentous bacteriophage, mostly made up of 2700 copies of a major coat protein (pVIII) displaying a foreign peptide specific for a target. The bacteriophage or its coat proteins alone can be used as probes to functionalize nanomaterials such as SiNPs. In this work, we propose a new approach to obtain fluorescent bio-probes that can be used for the realization of an optical biosensor. By pulsed laser ablation in liquid (PLAL), SiNPs are functionalized in a “one step” process with phages or isolated pVIII-engineered proteins, selective for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This process led to complexation of SiNPs with both bioprobes proposed. The PLAL did not alter the biological function of phage probes, maintaining their binding capacity to the bacterial target.


Biosensor Phage display M13 pVIII engineered proteins Silicon nanoparticles Pulsed laser ablation in liquid 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Giovanna Rizzo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura M. De Plano
    • 1
  • Sara Crea
    • 1
  • Domenico Franco
    • 2
  • Santi Scibilia
    • 2
  • Angela M. Mezzasalma
    • 2
  • Salvatore P. P. Guglielmino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Sciences Biological, Pharmaceutical and EnvironmentalUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, Informatics, Physics and Earth SciencesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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