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Proceedings Paper

Remote detection of human toxicants in real time using a human-optimized, bioluminescent bacterial luciferase gene cassette bioreporter
Author(s): Dan Close; James Webb; Steven Ripp; Stacey Patterson; Gary Sayler
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Paper Abstract

Traditionally, human toxicant bioavailability screening has been forced to proceed in either a high throughput fashion using prokaryotic or lower eukaryotic targets with minimal applicability to humans, or in a more expensive, lower throughput manner that uses fluorescent or bioluminescent human cells to directly provide human bioavailability data. While these efforts are often sufficient for basic scientific research, they prevent the rapid and remote identification of potentially toxic chemicals required for modern biosecurity applications. To merge the advantages of high throughput, low cost screening regimens with the direct bioavailability assessment of human cell line use, we re-engineered the bioluminescent bacterial luciferase gene cassette to function autonomously (without exogenous stimulation) within human cells. Optimized cassette expression provides for fully endogenous bioluminescent production, allowing continuous, real time monitoring of the bioavailability and toxicology of various compounds in an automated fashion. To access the functionality of this system, two sets of bioluminescent human cells were developed. The first was programed to suspend bioluminescent production upon toxicological challenge to mimic the non-specific detection of a toxicant. The second induced bioluminescence upon detection of a specific compound to demonstrate autonomous remote target identification. These cells were capable of responding to μM concentrations of the toxicant n-decanal, and allowed for continuous monitoring of cellular health throughout the treatment process. Induced bioluminescence was generated through treatment with doxycycline and was detectable upon dosage at a 100 ng/ml concentration. These results demonstrate that leveraging autonomous bioluminescence allows for low-cost, high throughput direct assessment of toxicant bioavailability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8371, Sensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring II; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification IX, 837117 (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919266
Show Author Affiliations
Dan Close, The Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
490 BioTech, Inc. (United States)
James Webb, The Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Steven Ripp, The Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
490 BioTech, Inc. (United States)
Stacey Patterson, 490 BioTech, Inc. (United States)
Gary Sayler, The Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
490 BioTech, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8371:
Sensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring II; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification IX
Sárka O. Southern; B. V. K. Vijaya Kumar; Salil Prabhakar; Arend H. J. Kolk; Kevin N. Montgomery; Arun A. Ross; Carl W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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