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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015 Jan;407(2):615-9. doi: 10.1007/s00216-014-8280-z. Epub 2014 Nov 9.

Incorporating yeast biosensors into paper-based analytical tools for pharmaceutical analysis.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 46556, USA,


Paper-based devices serve to address many analytical questions both inside and outside of the laboratory setting. For the first time, yeast is used to construct a whole-cell, paper-based biosensor device. This biologically based paper analytical device (BioPAD) is sensitive to antibiotics in the tetracycline family, and it could potentially address questions of pharmaceutical quality as well as antibiotic contamination in liquids. Our BioPAD can qualitatively discriminate the presence/absence of doxycycline over a range of 30-10,000 μg/mL. In an analysis of a doxycycline dosage form (tablet) commonly used for malaria prophylaxis, BioPADs identified the presence of antibiotic with 92 and 95 % sensitivity, evaluated by eye and computer-assisted image analysis, respectively, with no false positives by either method. BioPADs were found to remain viable for at least 415 days when stored at 4 °C. This research demonstrates the utility of whole yeast cells in paper-based pharmaceutical testing, and it highlights the potential for the development of yeast-based BioPADs to address a range of qualitative analytical questions, especially in low resource settings.

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