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A new biosensor designed to detect toxins, etc.

PEGASUS is a portable engineering analysis sensor with automatic sampling that is a small waveguide that can detect toxins, bacterial signs, viral signs, biological threats, white powder, etc. from samples such as blood, water, CSF, and food. A tube-based optical sensor. Animal sample.

The device by researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory is not a Star Trek “tricorder” medical scanner, but it is the first step in the right direction. A portable engineering analysis sensor (PEGASUS) with automatic sampling is a small waveguide that can detect toxins, bacterial signs, viral signs, biological threats, white powder, etc. from samples such as blood, water, CSF, and food. This is the base optical sensor. Animal sample.


“The ability to detect pathogens, biological threats, or toxins quickly and accurately without prior knowledge of the drug will improve human and environmental health,” said Principal Investigator Harshini.・ Mukundan states. “This is an important step in understanding what emergency response personnel are dealing with and providing rapid results.”

PEGASUS is easy to use in remote parts of the world as it does not require the operation of trained personnel or laboratory equipment. It can distinguish between bacterial and viral characteristics, allowing for proper treatment choices, which should improve patient health outcomes and reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance, Mukundan said.

The sensor includes an integrated sample processing device with minimal hands-on steps aimed at ensuring that all samples are of the quality required for detection. “It helps solve the problem of biomolecule misidentification, especially in the field, and prepares for potential outbreaks and biological threat events,” says Mukundan.

“Detection takes place in two main steps,” said project researcher Kiersten Lenz. “First, the sample is processed on a microfluidic device that requires only a small amount of sample. Then, the processed sample is loaded into a small sensor where detection takes place. The microfluidic device and sensor are rugged briefcases. It can be packaged in a case and can be carried anywhere in the world for better access to this sensing tool. “

“We want widespread use of this device,” continued Mukundan. “This includes detecting bacterial infections and food supply outbreaks in humans and animals, identifying white powder, detecting the presence of certain viruses in humans, animals, food and water, identifying potential biological threats, etc. For example, our technology can quickly detect infections in clinics, remote clinics, or laboratories. In the case of bacterial infections, gram without knowing the type of infection in advance. You can distinguish between positive, negative, and uncertain causes, in 15-30 minutes, “she said. For these infections, knowing the class of bacteria can help you choose the right treatment. This has important benefits for patient recovery. In addition, knowing the exact bacteria involved can reduce the prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which can lead to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Another potential impact lies in the area of ​​biosurveillance. Biosensors can be used in remote parts of the world and can detect different biomolecules from different sources, which can affect the monitoring of potential biothreat substances or outbreaks. Sensors can detect the presence of biomolecules from food sources, water supplies, and help identify unknown white powder that has been mailed in suspicious packages or spilled on highways. By improving monitoring and monitoring, you can be prepared for potential occurrences. This will give you a better understanding of the involvement of a particular agent.

How to use

The technology of this device is based on a benchtop waveguide-based optical biosensor developed at Los Alamos. The sensing system detects the analyte on the surface of a planar optical waveguide in a very small (~ 200 nm) field. To generate the sensing field, the laser is coupled to the planar waveguide at a critical angle of incidence, and total internal reflection of light occurs between the layers of the waveguide due to the different refractive indexes. This radiates an evanescent field from the surface of the waveguide where fluorescent molecules are detected.


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Courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory

Quote: A new biosensor (April 23, 2021) designed to detect toxins, etc. is available from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-biosensor-toxins.html on April 23, 2021. Was acquired by

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A new biosensor designed to detect toxins, etc.

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