Research Highlights

Meningitis sensor

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.66 Published online 25 May 2010

A new electrode with nanopores can detect traces of bacteria that cause meningitis in humans.

Existing techniques to detect meningitis are time-consuming, expensive and non-confirmatory. To devise a better alternative, researchers used a DNA-based sensor. They used a probe of thiol-labeled DNA (isolated from the meningitis causing bacteria Neisseria meningitidis) on gold electrode and then merged this probe with bacterial genomic DNA smeared on gold electrode. This merger reshaped the surface architecture of the electrode. Finally, bacterial genomic DNA was amplified to check for a specific gene (ctrA) to detect meningitis.

This electrochemical DNA sensor was highly specific for the detection of meningitis in clinical samples.

"The idea was to develop a novel biosensor for detection of bacterial meningitis before it becomes chronic," says lead researcher Bansi Malhotra from the Department of Science and Technology Centre on Biomolecular Electronics, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi.

The authors of this work are from: Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi; Department of Science and Technology Centre on Biomolecular Electronics, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, India & Centre for Nanobio Engineering and Spintronics, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


References

  1. Patel, K. M. et al. Electrochemical DNA sensor for Neisseria meningitidis detection. Biosens. Bioelectron. doi:  10.1016/j.bios.2010.04.025 (2010