New sensor can detect E. coli in 15 minutes

Researchers from the University of Quebec in Canada and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have developed a sensor that can detect E. coli much faster than lab tests — in 15 to 20 minutes.

"Using currently available technologies, which are mostly based on amplification of the sample, it takes several hours to days to detect the presence of bacteria," said Saurabh Mani Tripathi, from the Indian Institute of Technology. "A fast an accurate detection alternative is, therefore, preferable over the existing technology. Faster tests for the bacteria could lead to faster treatment of patients, as well as to cheaper and easier environmental monitoring."

The sensor uses bacteriophages, or viruses that naturally kill bacteria. They will grab onto any E. coli bacteria present in a sample and keep them attached to the surface of an optical fiber. When light strikes the surface of the fiber, E. coli's presence shifts the light's wavelength, meaning the bacteria are present.

The group of researchers published a paper on the new sensor in Optics Letter, a journal from the Optical Society. Members are also working with a Canadian company to commercialize the device.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars