Development of Point-of-Care Biosensors for Diagnosing Tuberculosis

Literature seminar abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is a pulmonary disease ranking among the top ten causes of death worldwide.1 The vast majority of cases are in low- to mid-level income countries where a laboratory for nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), the current recommended diagnostic technique, may not be feasible due to cost and training requirements.1 With these limitations and an increase in drug-resistant TB strains, it is imperative to develop a diagnostic technique that is low-cost, portable, and requires minimal training to use and interpret. Attempts are being made to miniaturize NAATs and reduce the amount of equipment required, however reagents and training are still a limiting factor.2

Biosensors offer a unique solution, as they are self-contained and can be tuned to specific needs. Diouani et al developed an immuno-electrochemical sensor for detection of the early infection protein ESAT-6.3 Pavankumar et al show a proof-of-concept lateral flow biosensor for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms in TB DNA to test for common drug-resistant strains.4 These two devices show progress towards the ultimate goal of a TB biosensor in the form of increased specificity and a new concept for diagnosis. However, development of a biosensor that can give a rapid diagnosis while simultaneously running a NAAT-like test on a raw human sample has yet to be perfected to the point of mass-producubility.


(1)           Tuberculosis (TB) (accessed Aug 27, 2017).

(2)           Ferguson, T.M., et al. Scientific Reports 2016, 6, 1-8.

(3)           Diouani, M.F., et al. Mat. Sci. and Eng. C 2017, 74, 465-470.

(4)           Pavankumar, A.P., et al. Anal. Chem 2016, 88, 4277-4284.


Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: Cameron Van Cleave

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 09-27-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: D. Crans