Our project aims to create a standardised universal biosensor strategy, that will be affordable and user friendly, containing all the components for readout. This system will consist of three elements:
A biological circuit designed to detect the presence of a specific substrate. The sensing element is specific to the substance being detected, while the readout for each construct is AmilCP, a blue coloured Chromoprotein.
The system is deployed initially through plasmid containing E. coli (tube-based), with the aim of progressing to a cell free system (as a lyophilised paper system).
The readout device was 3D printed and designed to attach easily to common smartphones. It uses spectrometry technology to measure the relative fluorescence or absorbance of a sample. We built an app to analyse the output from the device to determine the concentration of the substance being tested for.
To validate the idea for our Universal Biosensor Strategy, we identified irish industries with a need for such a product. We have targeted the dairy and microbrewery industries as proof of concept for our project, to test for antibiotic or methanol residue.