Gel-based biochip for the detection of airborne contaminants
The fast and direct identification of possibly pathogenic microorganisms in air is gaining increasing interest due to their threat for public health, e.g. in clinical environments or in clean rooms of food or pharmaceutical industries. We present a new detection method allowing the direct recognition of relevant germs or bacteria via fluorescence-labeled antibodies in a gel-based biochip within less than 1 h. In detail, the microorganisms are collected on a gel-based substrate containing fluorescence-labeled antibodies for the detection of a specific microorganism. First measurements with the system to identify test particles as well as interfering influences have been performed, in particular with respect to autofluorescence of dust particles. Specific antibodies for the detection of Aspergillus fumigatus spores have been established. The biological test system consists of protein A-coated polymer particles which are detected by a fluorescence-labeled IgG. Furthermore the influence of interfering particles such as dust or debris is discussed.