New Sensor Derived from Frogs

Princeton engineers have developed a sensor that may revolutionize how drugs and medical devices are tested for contamination, and in the process also help ensure the survival of two species of threatened animals.

To be fair, some of the credit goes to an African frog.

In the wild, the African clawed frog produces antibacterial peptides — small chains of amino acids — on its skin to protect it from infection. Princeton researchers have found a way to attach these peptides, which can be synthesized in the laboratory, to a small electronic chip that emits an electrical signal when exposed to harmful bacteria, including pathogenic E. coli and salmonella.

Read full story: ScienceDaily

Journal Reference:

  • Manu S. Mannoor, Siyan Zhang, A. James Link, C. McAlpine. Electrical detection of pathogenic bacteria via immobilized antimicrobial peptides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008768107

Kirtland C. Peterson

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