Hyderabad: Scientists from Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, have designed a unique graphene sheet that can detect the presence of e.coli bacteria. E.coli is one of the most common causes of food poisoning and urinary tract infections.
Graphene is a nano form of pure carbon that was discovered only in the last decade. Its properties have excited scientists the world over with its practical applications in electronics, sensors, biomedical devices etc. Previous research had found that graphene oxide could be lethal to bacteria like e.coli.
Scientists from IIT-Hyderabad and IISc Bengaluru have reported that a low-cost acetate-based graphene sensor that can detect the presence of e.coli bacteria. Scientists said that the sensor can detect the presence of e.coli even when their concentration is as low as 10 lakh forming units per millilitres (cfu/ml).
The graphene sheet was developed by a team of scientists including K. Siva Rama Krishna of IIT-Hyderabad, and Dr P.K. Basu, Deepthi Indukuri, Sandeep Keshavan, Vikas Navratna, Sandeep Raghavan and Navakanta Bhat of IISc. The researchers also said that the sensitivity of the graphene sensors increases as the concentration of e.coli bacteria in the food increases.
As the e.coli interact with the graphene sheet, the bacteria binds to it through a chemical process of introducing holes in the sheet, thereby decreasing its resistance. The resistance of the graphene sheet can be measured easily using a small device to detect the presence and amount of e.coli in the food substance....