This paper describes a biosensing concept for exotoxins secreted by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa based on the toxin mediated breakdown and subsequent fluorescent dye release from phospholipid vesicles (liposomes). The sensitivity of vesicles to toxins was tuned by altering the lipid and fatty acid composition of the membranes such that vesicles could be engineered to respond to toxins/enzymes from S. aureus only; P. aeruginosa only; and both S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. Nineteen types of vesicle were made with varying compositions of phosphocholine (PC), phosphoethanolamine (PE), cholesterol and the photo-polymerizable ampiphile 10,12-tricosadiynoic acid (TCDA). The selectivity of the vesicles was measured via a simple fluorescence "switch on" assay. Sensitivity of the vesicles to 40 clinically derived strains of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa was also demonstrated. This work suggests that this technology could be utilised in a diagnostic tool to discriminate between the species of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa in wound dressings.
Thet, N. T., Hong, S. H., Marshall, S., Laabei, M., & Jenkins, A. T. A. (2013). Visible, colorimetric dissemination between pathogenic strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using fluorescent dye containing lipid vesicles. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 41, 538-543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2012.09.019