Detection of Non-hazardous, Fluorescent Ricin-B Via an Immunoassay on Simulated Plastic Wings

Report No. ARL-TN-0499
Authors: Glenn Beatty and Asha Hall
Date/Pages: September 2012; 18 pages
Abstract: As a schedule 1 controlled substance, ricin is one of the deadliest plant toxins in existence, and also one of the most easily weaponizable. This combination has resulted in a recent surge of studies proposing new and improved methods of detecting ricin, primarily involving aqueous phase immunoassays. Successive methods report higher binding affinities and correspondingly lower detection limits, but little research has addressed the potential for new modes of implementation, extending beyond the aqueous phase. This study has examined the potential for detection along a solid/aerosol interface, increasing the variety of prospective scenarios to which the method can be applied. A solid plastic substrate treated with PolySorpTM, simulating a plastic wing surface, was used to anchor the potential antibody, a glycosphingolipid called monosialoganglioside (GM1). A monolayer of GM1 was introduced via direct adsorption followed by several rinsing steps, and verification of successful deposition is validated by Raman spectroscopy. The substrate-antibody complex is exposed to a known amount of fluorescently tagged, aerosolized ricin B (non-toxic analog), in a sealed, circulating environment.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2012