Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443643

Research Project: Development of an Infrared-Functionalized Microbalance Sensor for Cyclospora Cayetanensis Detection and Differentiation

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-112-003-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

This proposal aims to develop an infrared-functionalized microbalance sensor which can detect and differentiate Cyclospora cayetanensis and be used to reduce parasite contamination risk in food and water resources through the following objectives: Objective 1: Determine the signature of model organisms and test the ability of the platform to differentiate between individual species and mock communities of model organisms. Objective 2: Determine the signature of Cyclospora cayetanensis and test the ability of the platform to differentiate between Cyclospora cayetanensis and other protist parasites.

This project will combine the pathogen fingerprinting capabilities of infrared spectroscopy and a cantilever-based microbalance sensor to create a platform which can accurately and efficiently detect and identify the physicochemical signatures of Cyclospora cayetanensis. Model organisms which can be propagated in animal models and/or acquired from commercial sources will be used to test, design, and validate the sensing platform. As Cyclospora cayetanensis is a human pathogen which cannot be propagated, only final testing and design stages will use Cyclospora cayetanensis directly.