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BCR Diagnostics. Bacteriological Biosensor for Rapid Screening of Platelets Shortly Before Transfusion. Bacterial Chain Reaction for Biomolecular Amplification. Boris Rotman, Ph. D. Vice President and CSO . Jamestown, Rhode Island - bcrbiotech.com. Technical Rationale.

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bcr diagnostics

BCR Diagnostics

Bacteriological Biosensor for Rapid Screening of Platelets Shortly Before Transfusion

Bacterial Chain Reaction for Biomolecular Amplification

Boris Rotman, Ph. D.

Vice President and CSO

Jamestown, Rhode Island - bcrbiotech.com

technical rationale
Technical Rationale

Biosensor integrates three technologies:

1. LEXSASTM (Label-free Exponential Signal-Amplification System)

A recently developed system using engineered spores as fluorogenic nanodetectors.


The detection system is a unique device containing an array of 80,000 microscopic, independent biosensors, each of which is about 5-picoliter volume. This small reaction volume enables detection of individual bacterial cells. The device is termed “80K-bioChip.”

3. Computerized Parallel Imaging

The 80K-bioChip provides high-throughput data acquisition and processing.

lexsas characteristics
  • Ability to detect and count low bacterial levels.
  • Quantitative results in less than 20 minutes.
  • Cost-effective testing.
  • Linear detection response over a wide dynamic range of one to 10,000 bacteria per sample.
  • Low instrumentation cost.
  • Applicability to automated high-throughput operations.
why using engineered spores for cell based biosensing
Why using Engineered Spores for Cell-based Biosensing?
  • Spores are metabolically dormant microorganisms resistant to extreme chemical and physical environmental conditions.
  • Despite their ruggedness, however, spores remain alert to specific environmental signals that trigger the spores to rapidly break dormancy and initiate germination.
  • The spores in the LEXSAS™are engineered to be fluorogenic, i.e., the spores are not fluorescent per se, but produce fluorescent light in the presence of nearby bacteria.
principle of the biosensor
Principle of the Biosensor

Analyte + germinogenic buffer


Germination Signals

Signal Receptor


Spores Engineered


Fluorogenic Nanodetectors

Transduced Fluorescent Signals





Schematic of 80K-bioChip[Cross Section]


Biosensor Operation

Platelet sample is processed to separate bacteria, and the

resulting suspension is mixed with engineered spores

Mixture is combined with germinogenic substrate and then filtered through the 80K-bioChip

80K-bioChip is incubated at 37oC

Fluorescent images of 80K-bioChip are captured at time intervals

Digital images are processed to yield number of bacteria in the sample


Schematic of 80K-bioChip[Top View]

Micro-colanders with one bacterium show visible fluorescence


80K-BioChip showing ten (10) micro-colanders with significant fluorescence above baseline


Photomicrographs of 80K-bioChip

Left: Normal light Right: Fluorescence light

bcr diagnostics inc
BCR Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Privately held since 1994
  • Technology protected by five U. S. and multiple worldwide Patents (additional U.S. and ROW pending)
  • Awarded Phase I and Phase II Grants from the Rhode Island Center for Cellular Medicine
  • Awarded Phase I and Phase II SBIR Grants from the National Institutes of Health
  • Rotman, B., Cote, M. A., and Ferencko, L. Phenotypic Engineering of Spores. U. S. Patent pending.
  • Rotman, B. Analytical system based upon spore germination. U. S. Patent No.6,596,496, March 29, 2005.*
  • Ferencko, L., Cote, M. A., and Rotman, B. Esterase activity as a novel parameter of spore germination. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 319: 854-858, 2004.
  • Rotman, B. and Cote, M. A. Application of a real-time biosensor to detect bacteria in platelet concentrates. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 300, 197-200, 2003.
  • Rotman, B. Using living spores for real-time biosensing. Gen. Eng. News, 21, 65, 2001.

*Additional patents listed at www.bcrbiotech.com