Development of a novel highly sensitive and interference-free endotoxin detection system using new nanobiomaterials and phenomena (ENDOSENSE)

Reference: BIO2013-49464-EXP; Funded by: Ministerio de Economía y Competititvidad

Period: 01/09/2014 – 31/08/2016

Partners: Fundación Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2); Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)



The goal of this project is to develop a nanomaterial-based biosensing system for endotoxin detection aiming to be used to test conventional samples and with low interference from nanomaterials, thus it can be used for nanomedicine testing. Endotoxin or LPS is a common contaminant both in nanomaterials and in traditional materials, and is particularly problematic because it induces a strong inflamatory response that can provoke septic shock at concentrations as low as picomolar range. This proposal is of great relevance since ALL formulations and materials for human use must be free of endotoxin. Testing of endotoxin in nanomedicines have additional constrains due to the high levels of interference with diverse nanoparticles (e.g gold nanoparticles) being the establishment of methods to overcome such interference a priority. The main advantatge of the reference method for endotoxin determination (LAL assay) is its SENSITIVITY and the main concern is its LOW SPECIFICITY giving important problems due to false positives. This proposal aim to develop a sensor with biological components never tested before (MD2 and TLR4, components of the LPS receptor system) and nanotechnologic components such as quantum dots (QD), magnetic silica or graphene oxide (GO) that are expected to be even more sensible and more specific than the LAL assay. The system has been designed in two steps: a liquid phase step to “fish” the LPS, and a solid phase step to detect the LPS (see schemes). The detection is an ON/OFF system, which will be exclusively turned ON in the presence of the analyte. Being a cutting-edge approach, the system is expected to be more sensible than other standard methods. The biosensing system will be simple, fast and user friendly. Consequently, would be an advantageous tool for endotoxin analysis.