July 19, 2010

By hammersmith

[Source: UA News] – Detecting water and foodborne contaminants usually involves collecting a sample, sending it to a laboratory and waiting for it to be filtered, incubated, tested and identified under a microscope. If a critical infection is suspected, say for E. coli, the pathogen may already have multiplied and spread before the report arrives days later. 

A series of “lab on a chip” applications in development at the University of Arizona can identify pathogens in minutes rather than days, using a simple device (which may be attached to a faucet) that can deliver results locally.

The degree of accuracy is three orders of magnitude greater than for conventional real-time or rapid tests, and the method can be used to test lower concentrations of pathogens. 

For more information: ‘Lab on a Chip’ Detects Human, Agricultural Contaminants