Ratiometric Fluorescent Detection of an Anthrax Biomarker at Molecular Printboards
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Anthrax is an acute disease, concurrently a potential biological warfare agent caused by Bacillus Anthracis. The accurate, rapid, sensitive, and selective detection of Bacillus spores plays a vital role in order to prevent a biological attack or outbreak of disease. Bacterial spores contain a main core cell which is enclosed by protective layers. As a major component of these protective layers, bacterial spores contain up to 1 M dipicolinic acid (DPA), accounting for 5−15 % of the dry mass of the bacterial spore. Hence, DPA is a convenient biomarker for these spores. In recent years a number of biological and chemical detection methods for Bacillus Anthracis spores have been investigated. Biological methods are based on polymerase chain reactions and immunoassays. Important chemical methods employ vibrational spectroscopy (FT-IR, Raman and SERS) and photoluminescence. Among them, lanthanide (Ln3+)-based luminescent detection of DPA has been most promising owing to the unique photophysical properties of Ln3+-DPA chelates, including their bright luminescence upon sensitization by DPA, the long luminescence lifetimes compared to free Ln3+, and the concomitantly high luminescence enhancement ratio upon coordination of DPA to the Ln3+ center. Besides the use of DPA itself as a sensitizer, ratiometric fluorescent detection of anthrax spores can be achieved through the displacement of a different sensitizer by DPA.
KeywordsBacillus Anthracis Bacterial Spore Isonicotinic Acid Dipicolinic Acid Microcontact Printing
Shu-Han Hsu is acknowledged for making fruithful discussions.
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