Liquid-phase Reactor for Catalytic Production of Biomarkers from Biological Materials
Liquid-phase Reactor for Catalytic Production of Biomarkers from Biological Materials - A method for rapid identification of biological materials such as Anthrax.
In 2001, just a week after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, high quality anthrax spores (caused by the gram positive Bacillus anthracis bacteria) were sent to the offices of two U.S senators and several news media offices resulting in the sickening of seventeen Americans and the death of five. This event brought to light how a terrorist could capitalize on the availability of highly toxic biological materials to launch attacks through spreading these materials. Since this event, it has become exceedingly important for the United States and other countries to have methods of quickly identifying these materials in order to prevent infection. The process for detecting anthrax however, can take days and sometimes even weeks. This new invention proposes a method for rapid identification of biological materials in the liquid phase using a catalyst. In particular, Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus anthracis – Sterne strain, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus subtilis var nigers were differentiated from one another by the biomarkers they produced from the interaction of the catalyst and the spore of the anthrax strain in the liquid-phase reactor. These biomarkers are identified through using a solid phase sampling fiber to transport them from the liquid-phase reactor to a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) for analysis. The reaction between the catalyst and the spores in each liquid-phase reactor produces a unique set of biomarkers, thus, the chromatograms obtained from GC-MS are different and provide a means whereby one can distinguish one spore type from another. This invention can also be used to identify any other bacterial strain.
The liquid-phase reactor has application to government agencies in charge of identifying hazardous biological materials as well as food, environmental, and agricultural industries.
Zhijun Jia, Calvin H. Bartholomew, Edgar D. Lee, Milton L. Lee
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