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Bio-Detection and Chemical Fingerprinting using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) Technology

A. Adeyinka, D. Kuzmanovic, D.M. Schaefer and S. Lev
Towson University, US

Keywords:
bacteria, icpms, fingerprint

Abstract:
In this project, we explored the bioaccumulation of a large variety of inorganic trace elements in Bacillus subtilis using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer and compared it to other related and unrelated species. Bacillus subtilis is a safe substitute for anthrax. With this we were able to determine unique and reproducible chemical fingerprint for each species of organisms, closely related or not. While exploring the possibilities of these chemical fingerprints, we found them susceptible to laboratory and procedural effects, suggesting that this approach could be useful also as a forensic tool. In addition, we have also performed quantitative analysis on these signatures to mathematically relate the chemical fingerprints of B. subtilis to the number of cells or spores present in an analyzed sample. With this, we hope to be able to detect from a chemical fingerprint not only the presence of a bio-agent but its abundance and growth stage.

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