Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

Warfare agent detector

The biological warfare agent ricin can now be detected by a molecularly imprinted polymer1.

Ricin which have diverse effects on cells of different organs like liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines and parathyroid is a toxin isolated from castor bean seeds.

The researchers devised molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for ricin on the surface of silica particles by using a mixture of two organic silanes. MIPs were then compared with non-imprinted polymers (NIPs).

Sophisticated imaging technique revealed that ricin-MIP had enhanced surface area than NIP. Ricin-MIP also had more pore width and volume than NIP.

Using the method, ricin and other biological warfare agents can be recognised, pre-concentrated and separated of from various matrices, the researchers say.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/nindia.2009.342

References

  1. Pradhan, S. et al. Molecularly imprinted nanopatterns for the recognition of biological warfare agent ricin. Biosens. Bioelectron. 25 (2009) 592-598

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Nature Careers

Jobs

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing

Search

Quick links