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Phage Consultants share insights on biosensor construction at Evergreen conference

news-releasesPhage Consultants
September 20th 2017

Gdansk, Poland: – Specialist bacteriophage CRO Phage Consultants (PC) highlighted exciting applications of phage technology in constructing biosensors at the recent 22nd Evergreen Bacteriophage Conference in Olympia, Washington.

PC’s founder and CEO, Dr. Marcin Los, addressed the conference on advanced applications of bacteriophages, including emerging techniques for using their virus characteristics to recognize and bind specific bacterial receptors to construct biosensors to recognise specific targets.

Bacteriophage covalent immobilization
He explained how biosensors can be formed by phage covalent immobilization, creating covalent bonds between phage particles and gold surfaces.

During its own 10-year history, this was the fourth time that PC had attended the biennial conference, but the first time that Evergreen had been introduced to biosensor construction.

“This was a tremendously successful and inspiring conference,” commented Dr. Marcin Los.

Phages combat pathogens

“This was the first presentation about biosensor construction for this event, which sparked a lot of interest and provided genuine inspiration for many of my fellow scientists,” said Dr. Los.

“I was able to show useful phages can be in biosensor construction and that Phage Consultants can effectively help in such tasks using its extensive experience and knowledge,” he explained.

Biosensors provide a particularly promising research avenue for solving the problem of detecting many pathogenic and food borne bacteria, such as typhus or E.coli, in low concentrations that can defeat standard detection methods but still pose risks for consumer health.

Pioneering research

Dr. Los acknowledged the pioneering work of scientists like Professor Jim D. Karam in his 2006 analysis on the molecular biology of bacteriophage T4, Professor Valery A. Petrenko in his 2008 work on ‘Landscape phage as a molecular recognition interface for detection devices’ and more recently, Professor Sunil K. Arya and others who in 2011 described use of chemically immobilized T4-bacteriophage for specific E.coli detection using surface plasmon resonance.

Since then, Phage Consultants has been active in biosensor construction, recently publishing research on using gold nanoparticles and plasmonic biosensors to control contamination in bioprocessing, presenting ways in which T7 bacteriophage-induced changes in gold nanoparticle morphology can be used for biosensing of viruses.

About Phage Consultants

Phage Consultants is a contract research and manufacturing organization that specializes in bacteriophage detection and characterization and production.

Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that infect bacteria. First discovered around 1915, phages play an important role in viral biology, used to elucidate DNA viral reproduction through lytic and lysogenic cycles. They have been used for almost a century as alternatives to antibiotics and can have therapeutic effect against multi-drug-resistant strains of many bacteria.

Founded in Gdansk, Poland, in 2007, PC have become world leaders in using the power of bacteriophage technology in bioprocess infection and contamination control and assisting companies whose production is based on microbial activities in preventing bacteriophage contamination, along with bacterial, fungal and viral contaminations.

Phage Consultants are also specialists in the field of bacteriophage biology with specific expertise on phage activity in bioprocessing. Its team provides unique assistance to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, offering a range of services from personal training to consulting and process optimization in phage growth limitation. The company also advises and assists clients in the development of new production facilities.

About Evergreen Phage Meeting

The Evergreen Phage Lab at Olympia in Washington State has been a leading North American center for bacteriophage research since it was founded in n 1972.

Its biennial Evergreen International Phage Meetings involve national and international collaborations and have sparked significant research projects such as the T4 genome project of the 1980s and 1990s (involving Japanese, German and Russian collaborators), ecologically relevant simulations and identification of a variety of new phages.

The 2017 meeting was a six-day event between August 6 and August 11 at Evergreen State College, Olympia, attracting some 200 researchers from more than 40 countries.

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