Phage Array Biosensor for Detection of Biowarfare Agents

Period of Performance: 09/01/2002 - 08/31/2004

$500K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Agave Biosystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC

Abstract

Agave BioSystems, in collaboration with Professor George Malliaras of Cornell University, proposes to develop a unique and innovative biosensor based on induced luminescence of captured BW bacterial agents and organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology. The system would use an array of bacteriophage engineered to express fluorescent protein in infected BW agents. The specificity of the phage provides capture of only targets of interest, while the infection of the bacteria and natural replication of the expressed protein will provide the detection signal. Using novel OLED arrays, a phage array chip can be constructed similar to DNA chips for multianalyte detection. The combination of the phage array approach with OLED detection allows development of a powerful biosensing system that does not require additional labeling, sample manipulation, or complex instrumentation. Agave BioSystems was completely successful in completing the Phase I program and demonstrating proof-of-concept for this innovative technology. In the Phase II program, we will complete the development of a prototype analyser and micro-assay chips suitable for detection of biowarfare or bioterroists bacterial agents of interest. Potential markets include the food processing, environmental, medical and agricultural sectors. Relevant examples include the detection of Listeria monocytogenes in dairy foods and detection of multi-drug resistant bacteria in hospitals and clinics. All bacteria responsible for these outbreaks are susceptible to phage infection, and thus are likely candidates for detection by the phage array biosensor.