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Antibiotic-functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for the Detection of Active β-lactamases

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JournalNanoscale Advances
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Dec 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 13 Dec 2021
Number of pages10
Early online date13/12/21
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to threaten the effective treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. The spread of resistant infections is accelerated by the lack of fast and cost-effective tests for the detection of AMR at the point-of-care. We aimed to address this challenge by developing a diagnostic tool to detect one of the major forms of AMR, the β-lactamase enzymes. Antibiotic-functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been successfully developed for the detection of β-lactamases in challenging biological media, namely undiluted urine. Furthermore, these tools are compatible with samples containing a urine sample preservative (boric acid) or hematuria (blood). The functionalized AuNPs interact with the active β-lactamases, resulting in the hydrolysis of the surface-bound antibiotics, which then inhibits binding of the AuNPs to a capture protein (a penicillin-binding protein) to indicate the presence of active β-lactamases. We successfully integrated the antibiotic-functionalized AuNPs into a new lateral flow assay (LFA), which can be used to detect active β-lactamases down to the detection limit of 11 nM. While we demonstrate the use of antibiotic-functionalized AuNPs in an LFA format to provide a novel method of detecting active β-lactamases, these functionalized AuNPs are amenable to a range of alternative diagnostic technologies and could lead to vital point-of-care diagnostics for the early detection of multi-drug resistant infections.

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