Detection of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 with Langasite Pure Shear Horizontal Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors
The toxigenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacterium has been connected with hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, which may be characterized by diarrhea, kidney failure and death. On average, O157:H7 causes 73,000 illnesses, 2100 hospitalizations and 60 deaths annually in the United States alone. There is the need for sensors capable of rapidly detecting dangerous microbes in food and water supplies to limit the exposure of human and animal populations. Previous work by the authors used shear horizontal surface acoustic wave (SH SAW) devices fabricated on langasite (LGS) Euler angles (0ï¿½22ï¿½90ï¿½to successfully detect macromolecular protein assemblies. The devices also demonstrated favorable temperature stability, biocompatibility and low attenuation in liquid environments, suggesting their applicability to bacterial detection. In this paper, a biosensor test setup utilizing a small volume fluid injection system, stable temperature control and high frequency phase measurement was applied to validate LGS SH SAW biosensors for bacterial detection. The LGS SH SAW delay lines were fabricated and derivatized with a rabbit polyclonal IgG antibody, which selectively binds to E. coli O157:H7, in this case a non-toxigenic test strain. To quantify the effect of non-specific binding (negative control), an antibody directed against the trinitrophenyl hapten (TNP) was used as a binding layer. Test E. coli bacteria were cultured, fixed with formaldehyde, stained with cell-permeant nucleic acid stain, suspended in phosphate buffered saline and applied to the antibody-coated sensing surfaces. The biosensor transmission coefficient phase was monitored using a network analyzer. Phase responses of about 14ï¿½ere measured for the E. coli detection, as compared to 2ï¿½ue to non-specific anti-TNP binding. A 30:1 preference for E. coli binding to the anti-O157:H7 layer when compared to the anti-TNP layer was observed with fluorescence microscopy, thus confirming the selectivity of the antibody surface to E. coli.