Mycotoxin contamination of food and feed is now ubiquitous. Exposures to mycotoxin via contact or ingestion can potentially induce adverse health outcomes. Affordable mycotoxin-monitoring systems are highly desired but are limited by (a) the reliance on technically challenging and costly molecular recognition by immuno-capture technologies; and (b) the lack of predictive tools for directing the optimization of alternative molecular recognition modalities. Our group has been exploring the development of ochratoxin detection and monitoring systems using the peptide NFO4 as the molecular recognition receptor in fluorescence, electrochemical and multimodal biosensors. Using ochratoxin as the model mycotoxin, we share our perspective on addressing the technical challenges involved in biosensor fabrication, namely: (a) peptide receptor design; and (b) performance evaluation. Subsequently, the scope and utility of molecular modeling and simulation (MMS) approaches to address the above challenges are described. Informed and enabled by phage display, the subsequent application of MMS approaches can rationally guide subsequent biomolecular engineering of peptide receptors, including bioconjugation and bioimmobilization approaches to be used in the fabrication of peptide biosensors. MMS approaches thus have the potential to reduce biosensor development cost, extend product life cycle, and facilitate multi-analyte detection of mycotoxins, each of which positively contributes to the overall affordability of mycotoxin biosensor monitoring systems.
- All-atom molecular dynamics
- Molecular recognition NFO4
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis