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Nanosensors for determining the presence of bacteria
Published on May 4, 2015 52 min
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- Prof. Huinan Liu
- University of California at Riverside, USA
Hello, I'm Dr. Edgar Goluch from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. And today, I'll be telling you about nanosensors for determining the presence of bacteria.
My research group works on a number of topics related to bacterial cells and we're primarily focused on developing sensing and fluidic systems to detect and examine both individual cells and biofilms. Today, I'll be focusing on two types of devices that we're developing. First, we'll talk about electrochemical sensors and how they're made and how we're applying them for early infection detection and then secondly, we'll talk about some microfluidic devices that you can use to isolate and cultivate microorganisms, as well as detect the presence of infections.
So to begin with, let's look at some nanoscale electrochemical sensors.
The reason why we're interested in these types of sensors is to look at small molecules that bacteria and all cells produce and excrete into their environment. So you might be familiar with neurons, for example, releasing dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters into their local environment for the other cells to respond to and collect.
Bacteria do something very similar. They communicate with each other both through the same species and to other species to coordinate their activities, to determine when to form biofilms, when to release toxins, or when to move to new locations when they're being attacked or when food sources run out. All of this is done with small molecule communications which can be detected using electrochemical sensors.