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Issue 11, 2020
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Development of whole-cell and cell-free biosensors for the detection and differentiation of organic and inorganic forms of copper

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Abstract

The modern world has seen exposure of bacterial communities to toxic metals at selective levels. This manifests itself both intentionally, through medicines and un-intentionally through waste streams. There is growing concern that selective exposure to metals may be linked to microbial resistance to antibiotics. For a microbe to become resistant to a specific metal it must first come in contact with it. The transition metal copper has the ability to enter bacterial cells without need for a copper specific uptake mechanism. Copper is commonly used as an antimicrobial in the healthcare industry, consumer products and as a growth promoter of livestock in the agricultural sector. Here we report a study into the uptake of different organic and inorganic sources of copper. A whole-cell bacterial biosensor was developed to quantify the specific uptake of copper from various sources. Furthermore, a cell-free sensor was utilized to investigate the response to copper sources when uptake is eliminated as a factor. The data within suggest inorganic copper to have greatly reduced uptake compared to organic sources and that there is significant difference between copper oxides, Cu2O and CuO.

Graphical abstract: Development of whole-cell and cell-free biosensors for the detection and differentiation of organic and inorganic forms of copper

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Submitted
18 Jun 2020
Accepted
25 Sep 2020
First published
30 Sep 2020

Metallomics, 2020,12, 1729-1734
Article type
Paper

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