LISzyme Biosensors: DNAzymes Embedded in an Anti-biofouling Platform for Hands-free Real-Time Detection of Bacterial Contamination in Milk
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Nonspecific binding is a significant challenge associated with biosensors in complex food textures. To overcome this, we have developed LISzymes, which are DNAzymes incorporated in lubricant-infused surfaces (LISs). Using milk as a complex background matrix, we show that LISzyme biosensors are significantly more effective in preventing nonspecific binding compared to other commonly used "blocking" methods. The use of lubricant infusion to treat sensing surfaces results in a 4-fold increase in the signal-to-noise ratio obtained with the DNAzyme with respect to untreated surfaces, when detecting the presence of specific bacteria in milk. This is a striking improvement upon previous DNAzyme sensors. We also show that the use of LISs does not affect the DNAzyme's ability to effectively and specifically detect its target─a protein specifically produced by Escherichia coli (E. coli), in a complex sample matrix such as milk. LISzymes drastically improve DNAzyme performance, resulting in target detection associated with E. coli at concentrations as low as 250 CFU/mL in milk in less than an hour, which is currently not possible using other optical platforms. LISzymes are promising tools for the real-time monitoring of food contamination and may prove valuable within many other biosensing applications.
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