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  1. Electrochemical biosensors promise a simple method to measure analytes for both point-of-care diagnostics and continuous, wearable biomarker monitors. In a liquid environment, detecting the analyte of interest must compete with other solutes that impact the background current, such as redox-active molecules, conductivity changes in the biofluid, water electrolysis, and electrode fouling. Multiple methods exist to overcome a few of these challenges, but not a comprehensive solution. Presented here is a combined boron-doped diamond electrode and oil–membrane protection approach that broadly mitigates the impact of biofluid interferents without a biorecognition element. The oil–membrane blocks the majority of interferents in biofluids that are hydrophilic while permitting passage of important hydrophobic analytes such as hormones and drugs. The boron-doped diamond then suppresses water electrolysis current and maintains peak electrochemical performance due to the foulant-mitigation benefits of the oil–membrane protection. Results show up to a 365-fold reduction in detection limits using the boron-doped diamond electrode material alone compared with traditional gold in the buffer. Combining the boron-doped diamond material with the oil–membrane protection scheme maintained these detection limits while exposed to human serum for 18 h.
  2. Abstract

    Due to continued technological development, people increasingly come in contact with engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that are now used in foods and many industrial applications. Many ENMs have historically been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, which has sparked concern for how dietary nanomaterials impact gastrointestinal health via microbial dysbiosis. We employed an in vitro Human Gut Simulator system to examine interactions of dietary nano titanium dioxide (TiO2) with human gut microbiota. Electron microscopy indicated a close association of TiO2 particles with bacterial cells. Addition of TiO2 to microbial communities led to a modest reduction in community density but had no impact on community diversity and evenness. In contrast, administration of known antimicrobial silver nanoparticles (NPs) in a control experiment resulted in a drastic reduction of population density. In both cases, communities recovered once the addition of nanomaterials was ceased. Constrained ordination analysis of community profiles revealed that simulated colonic region was the primary determinant of microbiota composition. Accordingly, predicted community functional capacity and measured production of short-chain fatty acids were not changed significantly upon microbiota exposure to TiO2. We conclude that tested TiO2 NPs have limited direct effect on human gut microbiota.