Smart Polymers Research Corporation

Belleair Beach, FL, United States

Smart Polymers Research Corporation

Belleair Beach, FL, United States

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Bogomolova A.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation | Aldissi M.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation
Biosensors and Bioelectronics | Year: 2015

Inspired by the goal to create a biosensor with designer specificity for real-time detection of unlabeled analytes in a flow-through mode, we designed a miniature flow cell with interchangeable quartz window carrying immobilized aptamer/quantum dot molecular switches as a part of a portable fluorescent setup. The inner surface of the 1.5. mm ID, 12. μl flow cell quartz window has been modified with the aptamer sensing complexes containing highly-fluorescent quantum dots. The aptamer complexes were designed as molecular switches to undergo conformational change and release fluorescent label upon interaction with the flow of the analyte, causing fluorescence decrease. The specificity of the sensor was designed to address the light chain of Botulinum Neurotoxin A and Ricin Toxin A chain, which could be specifically and repeatedly detected in the flow of 60. μl/min with sensitivity comparable to other real-time detection methods. The specifics of quantum dots use as fluorescent labels for continuous monitoring under constant UV illumination were outlined. The possibility for multispecific sensing was explored by testing of bi-specific sensor. This work shows the possibility of surface-bound aptamer sensing for flow-through analyte detection and provides a useful tool to perform surface fluorescent studies in real-time. The flexibility of the described design allows for sensor specificity change through altering the specificity of the aptamer. Future work should address response quantification. The described sensing approach can be adapted to a number of environmental or clinical targets. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Komarova E.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation | Komarova E.,Kegel LLC | Aldissi M.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation | Bogomolova A.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation
Analyst | Year: 2015

Addressing the challenge of protein biosensing using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP), we have developed and tested a novel approach to creating sensing conducive polymer films imprinted with a protein substrate, ricin toxin chain A (RTA). Our approach for creating MIP protein sensing films is based on a concept of substrate-guided dopant immobilization with subsequent conducting polymer film formation. In this proof-of-concept work we have tested three macromolecular dopants with strong protein affinity, Ponceau S, Coomassie BB R250 and ι-Carrageenan. The films were formed using sequential interactions of the substrate, dopant and pyrrole, followed by electrochemical polymerization. The films were formed on gold array electrodes allowing for extensive data acquisition. The thickness of the films was optimized to allow for efficient substrate extraction, which was removed by a combination of protease and detergent treatment. The MIP films were tested for substrate rebinding using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The presence of macromolecular dopants was essential for MIP film specificity. Out of three dopants tested, RTA-imprinted polypyrrole films doped with Coomassie BB performed with highest specificity towards detection of RTA with a level of detection (LOD) of 0.1 ng ml-1. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.


Bogomolova A.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation | Aldissi M.,Smart Polymers Research Corporation
Biosensors and Bioelectronics | Year: 2011

The goal of this work was to develop and test a novel real-time biosensing approach which can be adapted to either environmental or clinical monitoring of biological pathogens. We have developed a working prototype of a real-time aptamer-based fluorescent flow sensor. The sensor utilizes a competitive displacement approach to measure the binding of the analyte, which keeps the nonspecific binding below detectable levels. The complex of surface-immobilized DNA aptamer with fluorescent complementary oligonucleotide releases the oligonucleotide upon binding with a specific target, which is translated by a decrease in fluorescence. Bright and stable fluorescence of quantum dots is utilized for prolonged detection of the analyte in flow conditions. The real-time sensor prototype is developed with previously characterized ATP-specific aptamer and is capable of specifically detecting 0.1. mM of ATP in biological buffer, with a quantitative response up to 5. mM. The developed prototype is portable and easy to use and its design allows further miniaturization and multiplexing. The developed real-time sensing approach can be adapted to a variety of targets of environmental and clinical significance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2011

The Phase II project will be dedicated to the design, creation and full-scale testing of a functional multi­-specific sensor prototype for real-time environmental water monitoring. The sensor will be miniature, portable, robust, easy-to-use and completely field-deployable. The utilized competitive displacement detection scheme guarantees high specificity as was shown in Phase I, while bright fluorescence of quantum dots will be responsible for sensitive detection. Real-time detection provides a vital advantage over the existing sensors and will allow timed response in case biothreat agents are detected. The sensor prototype developed in Phase I will be multi-specific towards three toxins (botulinum toxins A and E and Ricin toxin) and additional specificities can be added as needed. The sensor will utilize aptamers that will make it economical and also will contribute to its stability over a wide range of conditions. Full-scale testing with toxins in spiked environmental water samples will be performed by a potential end-user and the sensor operation will be optimized according to the end-user requirements. The proposed sensor will have immediate applications for constant environmental water monitoring, providing automated real-time specific detection and identification of multiple pathogens, and can be interfaced with the alarm system. The developed sensors can be used to rule out any disease outbreak due to bioterror attack or due to natural reasons. Such sensors will have a great potential for detection of minute amounts of a variety of pathogens/biowarfare agents immediately after their use in a possible attack on military targets or the general population. They have the potential to become, in fact, a part of creating an urban bioshield, maintaining the safety of large cities. Due to the universality of the sensing principle, the functionality of the sensor will be expanded toward other biological pathogens as new relevant aptamers are being selected. The sensing platform can be adapted to address numerous healthcare needs, from drinking water safety to food pathogen monitoring. The real-time detection and identification of pathogens, such as the one proposed by Smart Polymers, would be of enormous benefit from a public health perspective.


Grant
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 70.00K | Year: 2010

Smart Polymers Research Corporation proposes to create a fluorescence-based fully automated flow sensor for real-time environmental detection of biothreat pathogens in water or in the air. The sensor will be utilizing pathogen-specific aptamers chemically modified with highly fluorescent quantum dots. The detection will be performed in the flow mode and provide results in real time. Based on the fluorescence wavelength and intensity, the sensor will be able to identify and quantify multiple pathogens simultaneously. In Phase I, Smart Polymers will test and optimize the sensing approach and use the sensor prototype for detection of two simulants:  Bacillus thuringiensis spores and ricin toxin chain A in water. Multi-pathogen detection and detection of air contaminations will be performed in Phase II. The proposed sensor will have immediate applications for constant environmental water and air monitoring, providing automated real-time specific detection and identification of multiple pathogens; it also can be interfaced with the alarm system. The developed sensors can be used to rule out any disease outbreak due to bioterror attack or natural reasons. Such sensors will have a great potential for detection of minute amounts of a variety of pathogens/biowarfare agents immediately after their use in a possible attack on military targets or the general population. They have the potential to become, in fact, a part of creating an Urban Bioshield, maintaining the safety of large cities. Due to the universality of the sensing principle, the functionality of the sensor will be expanded toward other biological pathogens as new relevant aptamers are being selected. The sensing platform can be adapted to address numerous health care needs, from drinking water safety to food pathogen monitoring. The real-time detection and identification of pathogens, such as the one proposed by Smart Polymers, would be of enormous benefit from a public health perspective.


Grant
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 70.00K | Year: 2010

Smart Polymers Research Corporation proposes to create a fluorescence-based fully automated flow sensor for real-time environmental detection of biothreat pathogens in water or in the air. The sensor will be utilizing pathogen-specific aptamers chemically modified with highly fluorescent quantum dots. The detection will be performed in the flow mode and provide results in real time. Based on the fluorescence wavelength and intensity, the sensor will be able to identify and quantify multiple pathogens simultaneously. In Phase I, Smart Polymers will test and optimize the sensing approach and use the sensor prototype for detection of two simulants:  Bacillus thuringiensis spores and ricin toxin chain A in water. Multi-pathogen detection and detection of air contaminations will be performed in Phase II. The proposed sensor will have immediate applications for constant environmental water and air monitoring, providing automated real-time specific detection and identification of multiple pathogens; it also can be interfaced with the alarm system. The developed sensors can be used to rule out any disease outbreak due to bioterror attack or natural reasons. Such sensors will have a great potential for detection of minute amounts of a variety of pathogens/biowarfare agents immediately after their use in a possible attack on military targets or the general population. They have the potential to become, in fact, a part of creating an Urban Bioshield, maintaining the safety of large cities. Due to the universality of the sensing principle, the functionality of the sensor will be expanded toward other biological pathogens as new relevant aptamers are being selected. The sensing platform can be adapted to address numerous health care needs, from drinking water safety to food pathogen monitoring. The real-time detection and identification of pathogens, such as the one proposed by Smart Polymers, would be of enormous benefit from a public health perspective.

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