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Opportunity at Chemical and Biological Defense Funded Laboratories (CBD)

Peptide-Based Biosensors with Thin Silk Film Sensitivity and Stability Enhancement

Location

NSRDEC-US Army Natick Soldier Research Center, Biotechnology

RO# Location
01.06.01.B8081 Natick, MA 017605020

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Uzarski, Joshua Robert joshua.r.uzarski.civ@mail.mil 508.233.4018

Description

Natural antimicrobial peptides, as well as de novo designed sequences, have shown promise as semi-selective binding ligands for biosensor development for the detection and discrimination of pathogenic bacteria, endotoxins, and bacterial toxins such as Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). Silk fibroin protein, isolated from the Bombyx mori silk worm, has shown tremendous potential and utilization as a multifaceted functional material. Films of silk protein have shown the ability to stabilize active biomolecules and in some cases, enhance their activity. Furthermore, for optical sensing methods, thin silk films have provided enhanced analytical signals and lower limits of detection. We are exploring methods to incorporate bioactive peptides into thin silk fibroin films (10-100 nm) and investigating the potential stability and activity enhancement effects. The primary aims are to optimize ultrathin silk film formation on transductive substrates, optimize covalent incorporation of the peptides within and on the silk films, and to understand the expected stabilization and activity enhancement effects.

 

Keywords:
Biosensors; Bioconjugation; Antimicrobial peptides; Silk fibroin; SPR; Functional materials; Thin films; Chem/bio protection;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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