UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Label-Free Capacitive Biosensor for Detection of Cryptosporidium Luka, George; Samiei, Ehsan; Dehghani, Soroush; Johnson, Thomas; Najjaran, Homayoun; Hoorfar, Mina


Cryptosporidium, an intestinal protozoan pathogen, is one of the leading causes of diarrhea in healthy adults and death in children. Detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts has become a high priority to prevent potential outbreaks. In this paper, a label-free interdigitated-based capacitive biosensor has been introduced for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in water samples. Specific anti-Cryptosporidium monoclonal antibodies (IgG3) were covalently immobilized onto interdigitated gold electrodes as the capture probes, and bovine serum albumin was used to avoid non-specific adsorption. The immobilization of the antibodies was confirmed by measuring the change in the contact angle. The detection was achieved by measuring the relative change in the capacitive/dielectric properties due to the formation of Cryptosporidium-antibody complex. The biosensor has been tested for different concentrations of Cryptosporidium. The results show that the biosensor developed can accurately distinguish different numbers of captured cells and densities on the surface of the biosensor. The number of Cryptosporidium oocysts captured on the electrode surface was confirmed using a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) immunofluorescence assay. The response from the developed biosensor has been mainly dependent on the concentration of Cryptosporidium under optimized conditions. The biosensor showed a linear detection range between 15 and 153 cells/mm² and a detection limit of 40 cells/mm². The label-free capacitive biosensor developed has a great potential for detecting Cryptosporidium in environmental water samples. Furthermore, under optimized conditions, this label-free biosensor can be extended for detection of other biomarkers for biomedical and environmental analyses.

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