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  Chemical Sensors 2011, 1: 2
  Review Article
Portable Chemical Sensors for the Rapid Detection of Chemical and Biological Agents and Other Weapons of Terrorism
  Georgia-Paraskevi Nikolelia, Dimitrios P. Nikolelisb, Nikolaos Tzamtzisa  
a Laboratory of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, School of Chemical Engineering, Dept 1, Chemical Sciences National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou St., Athens 157 80, Greece
b Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis Kouponia, 15771 Athens, Greece

  The present article deals with weapons of bioterrorism, history, types of agents used and examples of chemical sensors for the rapid detection of chemical and biological agents and other weapons of terrorism. The release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs used to cause illness or death in people mainly, animals, or plants can be found in nature, but mainly are prepared with increased ability to cause diseases or death. These biological weapons are used by terrorists as a method of creating mass panic and disruption to a society. Therefore it is of primary concern to develop chemical sensors to detect these bioterrorism weapons prior to their use. The need for biosensors that can quickly and accurately identify infectious agents has lead the need for newer faster detection biosensors against bio-warfare agents for military and civil defense applications. The new biosensor technology has significant technological advantages when compared to that of the traditional detection methods. We are looking into portable and handheld biosensors, for example, such as dynamic DNA and Protein Arrays for rapid and accurate detection of pathogens and other agents. Recent achievements include single RNA or DNA molecule detection, real time hybridization or monitoring of protein binding to aptamers at single molecule level, hybridization of synthetic target DNA with anti-anthrax, selectivity of protein detection, i.e., Selectivity of human thrombin detection by anti-thrombin aptamers, simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens. However, biosensor technology still needs to offer a platform for portable and handheld biosensors for the rapid detection of bioterrorism weapons that can be used in airports and other cases.
  Bioterrorism; Biological weapons; Biosensors; In situ detection  

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