Surface acoustic wave mediated transductions have been widely used in the sensors and actuators applications. In this study, a shear horizontal surface acoustic wave (SHSAW) was used for the detection of food pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E.coli O157:H7), a dangerous strain among 225 E. coli unique serotypes. A few cells of this bacterium are able to cause young children to be most vulnerable to serious complications. Presence of higher than 1cfu E.coli O157:H7 in 25g of food has been considered as a dangerous level. The SHSAW biosensor was fabricated on 64° YX LiNbO3 substrate. Its sensitivity was enhanced by depositing 130.5nm thin layer of SiO2 nanostructures with particle size lesser than 70nm. The nanostructures act both as a waveguide as well as a physical surface modification of the sensor prior to biomolecular immobilization. A specific DNA sequence from E. coli O157:H7 having 22 mers as an amine-terminated probe ssDNA was immobilized on the thin film sensing area through chemical functionalization [(CHO-(CH2)3-CHO) and APTES; NH2-(CH2)3-Si(OC2H5)3]. The high-performance of sensor was shown with the specific oligonucleotide target and attained the sensitivity of 0.6439nM/0.1kHz and detection limit was down to 1.8femto-molar (1.8×10(-15)M). Further evidence was provided by specificity analysis using single mismatched and complementary oligonucleotide sequences.
Twelve strains of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were isolated from 9 of 25 beef samples purchased from retail stores in Malaysia. These strains produced Shiga toxin 2 with or without Shiga toxin 1 and had the eae gene and a 60-MDa plasmid. The antibiograms and the profiles of the arbitrarily primed PCR of the strains were diverse, suggesting that the strains may have originated from diverse sources.