Description: Rapid detection and identification of bacteria and other pathogens is important for many civilian and military applications. The taxonomic significance, or the ability to differentiate one microorganism from another, using fatty acid content and distribution is well known. For analysis fatty acids are usually converted to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). Bench-top methods are commercially available and recent publications have demonstrated that FAMEs can be obtained from whole bacterial cells in an in situ single-step pyrolysis/methylation analysis. This report documents the progress made during a three year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program funded to investigate the use of microfabricated components (developed for other sensing applications) for the rapid identification of bioorganisms based upon pyrolysis and FAME analysis. Components investigated include a micropyrolyzer, a microGC, and a surface acoustic wave (SAW) array detector. Results demonstrate that the micropyrolyzer can pyrolyze whole cell bacteria samples using only milliwatts of power to produce FAMEs from bacterial samples. The microGC is shown to separate FAMEs of biological interest, and the SAW array is shown to detect volatile FAMEs. Results for each component and their capabilities and limitations are presented and discussed. This project has produced the first published work showing successful pyrolysis/methylation of fatty acids and related analytes using a microfabricated pyrolysis device.
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: MOWRY, CURTIS D.; MORGAN, CHRISTINE A.; FRYE-MASON, GREGORY C.; THEISEN, LISA; TRUDELL, DANIEL E.; BACA, QUENTIN J. et al.
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