Biosensing platforms and antimicrobial coatings were developed to
combat problems associated with infectious diseases. Particularly,
a lytic bacteriophage based surface plasmon resonance (SPR)
biosensor was developed to detect food borne pathogen
Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) in real-time with high
specificity. Lytic bacteriophages are naturally developed molecular
probes that infect bacteria. They are environmentally stable and
inexpensive to produce compared to commercially available
antibodies. The sensitivity of SPR biosensors were further improved
specifically by poly-L-lysine grafted polyethylene glycol
(PLL-g-PEG) polymer. This polymer reduces non-specific adsorption
of S.aureus on SPR gold surface by ∼97%. When used as a blocking
buffer in affinity sensing of model antigen, beta-galactosidase by
filamentous bacteriophage, this polymer improved the detection
sensitivity by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude. A facile approach was
developed for sensor surface regeneration by controlling the
immobilization and removal of antibodies from SPR gold surface.
This was facilitated by the electro-reductive nature of
alkanethiols. By combining SPR with electrochemical methods, the
molecular assembly/disassembly processes were monitored in
real-time with great control. Finally, single-walled carbon
nanotube (SWNT) biocomposites were prepared using DNA and lysozyme
(LSZ) to develop mechanically strong antimicrobial coatings.
Coulombic interactions between DNA and LSZ were exploited to
fabricate multilayer antimicrobial coatings using a technique
called layer-by-layer assembly. This produced large scale
biomimetic coatings with significant antimicrobial activity, high
Young's modulus and controlled morphology which combines the
individual attributes of SWNTs and natural materials.
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