Student: Parker Dulin, Graduate Student in Civil Engineering, Iowa State University
Faculty Advisor: Kaoru Ikuma
Biosensor for the Detection of Legionella pneumophila
My research is focused on producing a biosensor for the detection of Legionella pneumophila. Documented cases of Legionnaires’ disease have dramatically increased since the start of the 21st century. L. pneumophila belongs to a group of organisms known as opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs); these microorganisms are capable of surviving traditional forms of disinfection and entering water distribution systems. As this list of OPPPs continues to grow and premise plumbing systems continue to age, it is becoming increasingly important to develop technology capable of measuring the threat to public health. To make my sensor more practical and sensitive, I am employing the use of recoverable magnetic nanoparticles and am studying the effects of DNA structure on hybridization, to lower the limit of detection.