"Current pathogen detection systems lack the stability, sensitivity, and time-independent functionality required for real-time biosensing in the field. Antibodies exhibit specificity for pathogenic bacteria but lack the sensitivity to detect reduced pathogen levels and the stability needed for detection in harsh environments. We are investigating naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) for pathogen detection due to their intrinsic stability in harsh environments, ease of synthesis, and broad range of activity and affinity towards microorganisms, including gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. The focus of our research is the tailoring of AMPs not for antimicrobial activity but for selective binding to target pathogenic bacteria. We envision these tailored peptides will replace existing molecular recognition elements in current pathogen detection platforms."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/