Fast, sensitive and agent specific tests are the fundamental underlying technologies behind the development of Bioagent diagnostic devices. Technologies which are widely used today such as RT-PCR, are either agent specific but not fast enough, or require sample collection in the field for analytical evaluation by a suite of approaches in a laboratory both some time and distance away. Even when in the laboratory, the collected samples can still take many hrs to analyze individually. At present, no platform technology is available commercially, which can detect single copy numbers of a specific agent in the field within one minute, or indeed allow fast high-throughput analysis single-copy sensitivity in a laboratory setting. In this regard the Geddes laboratories have for the last 2 years been developing a platform technology which threatens to change the way we consider testing for the presence of Bioagents. Microwave- Accelerated Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence (MAMEF) combines the use of Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence (MEF) to amplify fluorescence signatures up to many orders of magnitude which significantly improves assay sensitivity, with the use of low power focused microwaves to kinetically accelerate bio-reactions (assays) to completion within seconds, without denaturation of the assay components. Under a present MARCE developmental award, the Geddes group has developed a highly specific Anthrax assay which can detect <100 copies of the Anthrax PA genome within 20 seconds. In addition a 5 second, spore and the vegetative organism, lysing technology additionally allows for the collection of DNA for its rapid testing, with a total sample preparation and assay run time under one minute. In this MARCE-2 renewal, the MAMEF technology is to stand as a central hub technology for the Diagnostics group, with the general specific aims of: 1) Supporting other MARCE cores and adopting the MAMEF technology to aid other programs, e.g. in vaccine challenge studies etc, 2) Continued development of the MAMEF platform for other bioagents at the core interest of the MARCE, and the development of the MAMEF technology into a multiplexed platform, capable of detecting either numerous bioagents simultaneously or indeed the high-throughput screening of many samples simultaneously and 3) to seek commercialization of the technologies.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research and sensing platform will allow multiple bioagents, which are adverse to Human Health, to be detected with high sensitivity and at an unprecedented speed. In addition, multiple clinical and bioagents samples can be simultaneously measured, providing a significant diagnostic tool in the event of another bio-terror attack.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-DDS-M)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Maryland Baltimore
United States
Zip Code
Champion, Anna E; Bandara, Aloka B; Mohapatra, Nrusingh et al. (2018) Further Characterization of the Capsule-Like Complex (CLC) Produced by Francisella tularensis Subspecies tularensis: Protective Efficacy and Similarity to Outer Membrane Vesicles. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 8:182
Bridge, Dacie R; Blum, Faith C; Jang, Sungil et al. (2017) Creation and Initial Characterization of Isogenic Helicobacter pylori CagA EPIYA Variants Reveals Differential Activation of Host Cell Signaling Pathways. Sci Rep 7:11057
Kaempfer, Raymond; Popugailo, Andrey; Levy, Revital et al. (2017) Bacterial superantigen toxins induce a lethal cytokine storm by enhancing B7-2/CD28 costimulatory receptor engagement, a critical immune checkpoint. Receptors Clin Investig 4:
Molleston, Jerome M; Cherry, Sara (2017) Attacked from All Sides: RNA Decay in Antiviral Defense. Viruses 9:
Cifuentes-Muñoz, Nicolás; Sun, Weina; Ray, Greeshma et al. (2017) Mutations in the Transmembrane Domain and Cytoplasmic Tail of Hendra Virus Fusion Protein Disrupt Virus-Like-Particle Assembly. J Virol 91:
Sarute, Nicolás; Ross, Susan R (2017) New World Arenavirus Biology. Annu Rev Virol 4:141-158
Ramachandran, Girish; Aheto, Komi; Shirtliff, Mark E et al. (2016) Poor biofilm-forming ability and long-term survival of invasive Salmonella Typhimurium ST313. Pathog Dis 74:
Wahid, Rezwanul; Fresnay, Stephanie; Levine, Myron M et al. (2016) Cross-reactive multifunctional CD4+ T cell responses against Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi, Paratyphi A and Paratyphi B in humans following immunization with live oral typhoid vaccine Ty21a. Clin Immunol 173:87-95
Li, Huiguang; Hwang, Young; Perry, Kay et al. (2016) Structure and Metal Binding Properties of a Poxvirus Resolvase. J Biol Chem 291:11094-104
Chou, Yi-Ying; Cuevas, Christian; Carocci, Margot et al. (2016) Identification and Characterization of a Novel Broad-Spectrum Virus Entry Inhibitor. J Virol 90:4494-4510

Showing the most recent 10 out of 375 publications