Development of electrochemical biosensors for the direct detection of infectious disease

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University of New Brunswick


Infectious disease detection is an extremely important field, as clinicians and scientists around the world continue to seek improved diagnostics. Electrochemical biosensors represent an emerging class of diagnostic techniques that are rapid, inexpensive, and easily scalable. By combining the intricate interactions of biological molecules with the sensitive techniques of electrochemistry, these biosensors hold great promise in the future of infectious disease sensing. The current thesis explores the development of two such devices, for Lyme disease and hepatitis B, by describing their design, assembly, and effectiveness. The Lyme sensor exploits a known protein-protein interaction between bacterial and human cells to produce a biomimetic sensor capable of binding individual bacteria. This biosensor proves effective at capturing the Lyme bacteria and producing a significant electrochemical response. Likewise, the hepatitis B sensor employs highly specialized surface chemistry to detect hepatitis-specific antigens. Through the development of these sensors, we hope to provide insight into potential devices that can combat these dangerous diseases.