<p>The major goalsof this researchareto design, develop, and evaluatespecifically biofunctionalized CNTs-based platforms for effective simultaneous isolation and concentration of multiple pathogens in different food matrixes. The specific aims include: </p>
<p>1) To synthesize and produce the desired multifunctional bioactive carbon nanotubes, including carbohydrates-functionalized CNTs, antibody-functionalized CNTs, and CNTs with magnetic element. </p>
<p>2) To design and construct two platforms based on these multifunctional CNTs: CNT-coated filters and magnetic CNTs, for isolation and concentration of multiple bacterial pathogens in buffer suspensions. </p>
<p>3) To evaluate and validate the use of the two specifically designed CNTs-based platforms for the rapid capturing and concentration of multiple bacterial pathogens in different food matrixes.</p>
<p>NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:<br/> This project is to devleop simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods for isolation and concentration of foodborne pathogens in food samples. We will use the newly developed nanomaterial--carbon nanotubes (CNTs) functionalized with sugars or antibodies to develop novel CNTs-coated filters and CNTs-based magnetic separation. We will implement and evaluate them for the isolation and concentration of pathogens from various food matrixes. Our long term goal is to establish simple, rapid, inexpensive, and effective protocols for simultaneous isolation and concentration of multiple pathogens from different food samples. And we envison that the methods will be applied in both routine food inspection and outbreak crisis management
<p>APPROACH:<br/> This project is a laboratory experiments-based research project. For each specific aim, we will conduct corresponding experiments in lab. For specific aim 1, We will use chemical synthesis methods to synthesize and produce the desired CNTs; We will use non-covalent stabilization of CNTs products; We will use covalent functionalization to produce multifunctional CNTs with carbohydrates or attached with antibodies. For specific aim 2: We will design CNT-coated filters by coating the PTFE membrane filters with CNTs and with the sugar-functionalized CNTs, and will characterize their morphology and permeability at different densities of CNTs by measuring permeate water flux as a function of transmembrane press drop and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The efficiency of the CNTs-coated filters for isolating multiple pathogens will be evaluated
using the spiked samples using E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhmurium, Listeria monocytogenes as model pathogens. Magnetic CNTs for concentrating pathogens will be evaluated using the similar experimental design. For specific aim 3: we will evaluate and validate the use of the specifically designed CNTs-based platforms for the rapid concentration and capture of multiple bacterial pathogens in different food matrixes using microbial techniques including conventional plating method. Parameters including capture efficiency, reproducibility, reusability, and specificity will be evaluated. And results will be statistically analyzed. The discoveries and technologies of this project will be disseminated as peer-reviewed journal publications, patents, scientific conference presentations, and students' theses/dissertations, to the community. The impact of the project will be evaluated by the
impact factors of the journals, and citation of the articles, and feedback from students, scientists and conference attendees.