The Rapid Identification of Microorganisms

The Need


1. Culturing

2. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Link to illustrated discussion of PCR

3. Immunoassays

Use a method that exploits the specificity and sensitivity of the reaction between antigen and antibodies.

Example: Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Takes 15 minutes or longer.

4. Biosensors (CANARY)

In the 11 July 2003 issue of Science, a team of scientists at the Lincoln Laboratory in the U. S. reported a new method of rapid identification that exploits living cells. They call their method CANARY (for Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields)

Their "biosensor" is a clone of B lymphocytes (B cells) that have been genetically engineered to express Procedure: Results:
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17 April 2014