Community sewage sensors towards evaluation of drug use trends: detection of cocaine in wastewater with DNA-directed immobilization aptamer sensors

Yang, Z. , Castrignanò, E., Estrela, P., Frost, C. G. and Kasprzyk-Hordern, B. (2016) Community sewage sensors towards evaluation of drug use trends: detection of cocaine in wastewater with DNA-directed immobilization aptamer sensors. Scientific Reports, 6, 21024. (doi:10.1038/srep21024) (PMID:26876971) (PMCID:PMC4753446)

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Abstract

Illicit drug use has a global concern and effective monitoring and interventions are highly required to combat drug abuse. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an innovative and cost-effective approach to evaluate community-wide drug use trends, compared to traditional population surveys. Here we report for the first time, a novel quantitative community sewage sensor (namely DNA-directed immobilization of aptamer sensors, DDIAS) for rapid and cost-effective estimation of cocaine use trends via WBE. Thiolated single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) probe was hybridized with aptamer ssDNA in solution, followed by co-immobilization with 6-mercapto-hexane onto the gold electrodes to control the surface density to effectively bind with cocaine. DDIAS was optimized to detect cocaine at as low as 10 nM with a dynamic range from 10 nM to 5 μM, which were further employed for the quantification of cocaine in wastewater samples collected from a wastewater treatment plant in seven consecutive days. The concentration pattern of the sampling week is comparable with that from mass spectrometry. Our results demonstrate that the developed DDIAS can be used as community sewage sensors for rapid and cost-effective evaluation of drug use trends, and potentially implemented as a powerful tool for on-site and real-time monitoring of wastewater by un-skilled personnel.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yang, Dr Zhugen
Authors: Yang, Z., Castrignanò, E., Estrela, P., Frost, C. G., and Kasprzyk-Hordern, B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Yang, Z. et al.
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 6:21024
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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