Selective detection of 1000 B. anthracis spores within 15 minutes using a peptide functionalized SERS assay†
A surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) assay has been designed to detect Bacillus anthracis spores. The assay consists of silver nanoparticles embedded in a porous glass structure that have been functionalized with ATYPLPIR, a peptide developed to discriminately bind B. anthracis versus other species of Bacillus. Once bound, acetic acid was used to release the biomarker dipicolinic acid from the spores, which was detected by SERS through the addition of silver colloids. This SERS assay was used to selectively bind B. anthracis with a 100-fold selectivity versus B. cereus, and to detect B. anthracis Ames at concentrations of 1000 spores per mL within 15 minutes. The SERS assay measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or from water supplies.