Staff directory Mohga Khater

Mohga Khater

Fellowship Doctoral Student
Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau Center
Egyptian Agricultural Research Center
Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors



  • Electrochemical detection of plant virus using gold nanoparticle-modified electrodes

    Khater M., de la Escosura-Muñiz A., Quesada-González D., Merkoçi A. Analytica Chimica Acta; 2018. 10.1016/j.aca.2018.09.031.

    Tristeza is one of the destructive diseases of citrus causing by citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Historically, CTV has been associated with serious outbreaks of quick decline of citrus, therefore CTV monitoring is important aspect for avoiding such re-emerging epidemics, which would threat citrus production through the world. In this context, we have designed for the first time a label-free impedimetric biosensor for the detection of nucleic acid of CTV. The sensing platform based on a screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) was modified by electrodeposited gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which allowed to efficiently immobilizing thiolated ssDNA probes as well to enhance the electrode conductivity. The growth of AuNPs was optimized and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We investigated the behavior of thiolated ssDNA probe layer and its hybridization with target DNA onto AuNP surfaces by EIS measurements in Fe(CN6)4-/Fe(CN6)3- red-ox system. The main sensor design aspects such as AuNPs size, probe DNA concentration and immobilization time together with DNA hybridization time were optimized so as to achieve the best performance. Impedance values of DNA hybridization increased with Citrus tristeza-related synthetic DNA concentration, showing a logarithmic relation in the range of 0.1–10 μM. The results also indicate that the biosensor was able to selectively detect CTV nucleic acids in the presence of other non-specific DNAs. Moreover, we have demonstrated the good performance of the system in a real plant sample matrix. In addition, the sensor reproducibility enhanced after the hybridization onto MCH/poly (AT) thiolated DNA probes which was confirmed by intra- and inter-day variability assays. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biosensors for plant pathogen detection

    Khater M., de la Escosura-Muñiz A., Merkoçi A. Biosensors and Bioelectronics; 93: 72 - 86. 2017. 10.1016/j.bios.2016.09.091. IF: 7.780

    Infectious plant diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, viroids, phytoplasma and nematodes. Worldwide, plant pathogen infections are among main factors limiting crop productivity and increasing economic losses. Plant pathogen detection is important as first step to manage a plant disease in greenhouses, field conditions and at the country boarders. Current immunological techniques used to detect pathogens in plant include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and direct tissue blot immunoassays (DTBIA). DNA-based techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real time PCR (RT-PCR) and dot blot hybridization have also been proposed for pathogen identification and detection. However these methodologies are time-consuming and require complex instruments, being not suitable for in-situ analysis. Consequently, there is strong interest for developing new biosensing systems for early detection of plant diseases with high sensitivity and specificity at the point-of-care. In this context, we revise here the recent advancement in the development of advantageous biosensing systems for plant pathogen detection based on both antibody and DNA receptors. The use of different nanomaterials such as nanochannels and metallic nanoparticles for the development of innovative and sensitive biosensing systems for the detection of pathogens (i.e. bacteria and viruses) at the point-of-care is also shown. Plastic and paper-based platforms have been used for this purpose, offering cheap and easy-to-use really integrated sensing systems for rapid on-site detection. Beside devices developed at research and development level a brief revision of commercially available kits is also included in this review. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.