Progress in the field of pathogen detection relies on at least one of the following three qualities: selectivity, speed, and cost-effectiveness. Here, we demonstrate a proof of concept for an optical biosensing system for the detection of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa while addressing the abovementioned traits through a modular design. The biosensor detects pathogen-specific quorum sensing molecules and generates a fluorescence signal via an intracellular amplifier. Using a tailored measurement device built from low-cost components, the image analysis software detected the presence of P. aeruginosa in 42 min of incubation. Due to its modular design, individual components can be optimized or modified to specifically detect a variety of different pathogens. This biosensor system represents a successful integration of synthetic biology with software and hardware engineering.
Part of the book: Biosensing Technologies for the Detection of Pathogens