Novel technology for rapid species-specific detection of Bacillus spores

Melissa D. Krebs, Brian Mansfield, Ping Yip, Sarah J. Cohen, Abraham L. Sonenshein, Ben A. Hitt, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


There is an urgent need for a small, inexpensive sensor that can rapidly detect bio-warfare agents with high specificity. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, would be a perilous disease-causing organism in the event of a release. Currently, most anthrax detection research is based on nucleic acid detection, immunoassays and mass spectrometry, with few detection levels reported below 105 spores. Here, we show the ability to distinguish Bacillus spores to a level approaching 103 spores, below the reported median infectious dose of B. anthracis, using pyrolysis - micromachined differential mobility spectrometry and novel pattern recognition algorithms that combine lead cluster mapping with genetic algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalBiomolecular Engineering
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Adaptive pattern recognition
  • Bacillus spore detection
  • Differential mobility spectrometry
  • Genetic algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


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