Botulinum toxin type B micromechanosensor

Academic Article


  • Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types A, B, E, and F are toxic to humans; early and rapid detection is essential for adequate medical treatment. Presently available tests for detection of BoNTs, although sensitive, require hours to days. We report a BoNT-B sensor whose properties allow detection of BoNT-B within minutes. The technique relies on the detection of an agarose bead detachment from the tip of a micromachined cantilever resulting from BoNT-B action on its substratum, the synaptic protein synaptobrevin 2, attached to the beads. The mechanical resonance frequency of the cantilever is monitored for the detection. To suspend the bead off the cantilever we use synaptobrevin's molecular interaction with another synaptic protein, syntaxin 1A, that was deposited onto the cantilever tip. Additionally, this bead detachment technique is general and can be used in any displacement reaction, such as in receptor-ligand pairs, where the introduction of one chemical leads to the displacement of another. The technique is of broad interest and will find uses outside toxicology.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu W; Montana V; Chapman ER; Mohideen U; Parpura V
  • Start Page

  • 13621
  • End Page

  • 13625
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 23