The USAFA iGEM 2023 team is improving rapid, on-the-spot, detection technology for Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. The ultimate goal is to develop a Band-Aid-like biosensor patch that can be placed on a tick bite to indicate infection. The Lyme-AID biosensor will consist of a two-phase approach: Attract/Inhibit and Detect (AID). (1) Attract/Inhibit B. burgdorferi at the biosensor patch by limiting its diffusion into the new host through expression of Salp12, an Ioxodes scapularis salivary protein that acts as a chemoattractant for B. burgdorferi. (2) Detect B. burgdorferi through an aptamer-mediated biosensor designed to bind to outer surface proteins A and C, found on the surface of B. burgdorferi. Binding will lead to conformational changes in the aptamer/gold nanoparticle resulting in a visual color change caused by the dissociation of gold nanoparticles. This color change will indicate presence of the bacteria to the user.
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