Phage scientists combine gold and bacteriophages in viral sensing advance
Press Release | Phage Consultants
MAY 09, 2015
Gdansk, Poland: – Scientists from two leading Polish universities have presented a new method for detecting viruses, based on gold nanoparticles activated with the T7 bacteriophage.
Results of their research are published in an article ‘T7 bacteriophage induced changes of gold nanoparticle morphology: biopolymer capped gold nanoparticles as versatile probes for sensitive plasmonic biosensors’ published in Analyst, the journal of Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry.
The article demonstrates how gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can be morphologically changed by the T7 bacteriophage to support determination of femtomolar concentration by a plasmonic method.
T7 bacteriophage was chosen as a model organism for adenoviruses and other types of viruses and, proving that biopolymer capped AuNPs can be used as versatile and sensitive probes for biosensing across a wide range of viruses.
The lead author, Dr. Palanisamy Kannan, is an experienced Postdoctoral Research Fellow in nanotechnology biomaterials and alternative energy sources for ERA Integration at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. Dr. Kannan specializes in identifying nanoparticles as efficient probes for the detection of biomolecules.
Co-authors, Dr. Marcin Los and Dr. Joanna M. Los, are co-founders of Phage Consultants and experts in application of bacteriophage technologies to biotech research. Both are involved in research at University of Gdansk’s Department of Molecular Biology while Marcin Los is also an associate professor of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, where the fourth author, Dr. Joanna Niedziolka-Jonsson, specializes in surface modification and plasmon resonance, molecular recognition and bio inspired materials.
Together, they have discovered a method by which carboxymethyl chitosan-capped gold nanoparticles (CMC-AuNPs) can be synthesized by a simple one pot wet chemical method that changes their spherical structure into chain-like nanostructures after the addition of the T7 bacteriophage. This is due to the strong coordination of CMC-AuNPs with T7.
Researchers discovered that the CMC-AuNPs with T7 virions enabled colorimetric biosensing detection with greatly enhanced absorbance intensity.
“The work presented in our article provides new insight into virus induced chain-like morphology of gold nanoparticles,” said Dr. Marcin Los.
“It demonstrates that these biopolymer stabilized AuNPs provide highly viable potential plasmonic nanomaterials for biosensing of viruses, which can be efficient and versatile while exhibiting very high performance,” said Dr. Los.
“From a commercial point of view, our method is very simple, low cost, selective and highly sensitive. Significantly, it is also much more ecofriendly than previous methods. For example, Kenichi Niikura and others used gold nanoparticles functionalized by sialic acid-linked lipids to detect virus-like particles. But that method involved four complicated steps and an expensive acid that is also difficult to handle and requires heat treatment,” Dr. Los added.
The Phage Consultants team has also participated in related research at the two Polish Universities using gold nanoparticles activated with the T7 bacteriophage as a model for a colorimetric immunosensor that enables fast, simple, and selective detection across a wide range of adenoviruses.
About Phage Consultants
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.
Based in Poland, Phage Consultants is a contract research and manufacturing organization that specializes in bacteriophage characterization, production, infection and contamination control and assisting companies whose production is based on microbial activities in preventing phage, bacterial, fungal and viral contaminations.
Phage Consultants are 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.
Dr. Marcin Los, CEO, Phage Consultants
Tel: +48 503 636 224
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