Detection of Foodborne Biohazards Using Antibody Modified Electrospun Conducting Fibres
The objective of the research was to fabricate an integrated sensor that could detect Escherichia coli K-12 from sample matrices. The sensor was based on antibodies immobilized on the surface of conducting polymer coated electrospun nylon fibres. Baseline studies optimized the conditions required for consistent depositions of polyaniline on the surface of nylon fibres. Antibodies with affinity towards E. coli K-12 were coupled to the conducting polymer and binding of the bacterium was followed using impedance spectroscopy using a 4-electrode configuration. It was demonstrated that the sensor membrane could recover >80% E. coli K-12 when placed in suspensions containing 1 – 5 log CFU E. coli K-12. In terms of detection, the increase in charge transfer resistance could be correlated to cell density of E. coli within the range of 1-6 log CFU. The study provides a proof of an integrated capture and label-free detection method for microbial targets.