Scientists in India Create Sensor to Detect Bacteria Quickly
Working in collaboration with the Photonics Research Center at the University of Quebec in Outaouais, scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, have built a sensor that can detect the presence of Escherichia coli in food and water in under 20 minutes, much faster than traditional laboratory tests.
Bacteriophages used in the device bond to the surface of an optical fiber, grab E.coli bacteria from a sample, and keep them attached. When a beam of light strikes the surface, the presence of E.coli shifts the wavelength in a telltale sign of bacterial contamination. An additional optical component cancels out temperature-induced shifts, reports the Economic Times. By changing the bacteriophage in the sensor, other strains of bacteria can also be detected, the scientists report.
The team members that worked on this project are Krishnendu Dandapat, Saurabh Mani Tripathi, Yasser Chinifooroshan, Wojtek J. Bock, and Predrag Mikulic.