Novel technology for rapid species-specific detection of Bacillus spores

Biomol Eng. 2006 Jun;23(2-3):119-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bioeng.2005.12.003. Epub 2006 Feb 23.


There is an urgent need for a small, inexpensive sensor that can rapidly detect bio-warfare agents with high specificity. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, would be a perilous disease-causing organism in the event of a release. Currently, most anthrax detection research is based on nucleic acid detection, immunoassays and mass spectrometry, with few detection levels reported below 10(5) spores. Here, we show the ability to distinguish Bacillus spores to a level approaching 10(3) spores, below the reported median infectious dose of B. anthracis, using pyrolysis--micromachined differential mobility spectrometry and novel pattern recognition algorithms that combine lead cluster mapping with genetic algorithms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Bacillus / classification*
  • Bacillus anthracis / classification
  • Bacillus cereus / classification
  • Bacillus subtilis / classification
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / classification
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Biological Warfare / classification*
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Species Specificity
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Spores, Bacterial / classification
  • Water Microbiology*