Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) have developed a low-cost, hand-held device for rapid detection of bacteria, bringing portable bacterial detection kits closer to reality. This low-cost ready-to-use diagnostic tool could facilitate rapid detection and diagnosis at the point of care.
The researchers, led by Prof Parameswar K Iyer of the Department of Chemistry and Prof Siddhartha S Ghosh of the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering of IIT Guwahati, said that besides being useful in a healthcare set-up, the device could aid anti-bioterrorism measures and environmental monitoring applications. Their work has been patented as well as published in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry A of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET)-based bacterial diagnostic device has the ability to distinguish between Gram positive and Gram negative types said the researchers. The device developed by the team consists of a unique and hybrid tri-layer dielectric system built on simple glass and flexible PET (a kind of plastic) substrates, and can operate at ultra-low operating voltages. The device is particularly useful for the detection of bacteria primarily for water-borne diseases. These sensors will also be useful in instantaneous detection of time-critical illnesses such as meningitis.