FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Nanoparticles Aid E. Coli Detection

Scientific American is reporting that researchers at the University of Florida have developed a method of rapidly detecting the presence of E. coli bacteria in food through silica nanoparticles.

The particles each contain a few molecules of flourescent dye, which reacts with the bacteria to give off a glow. Using this technique, the presence of E. coli can be verified in approximately 20 minutes.

Detecting E. coli rapidly is a critical task, as it can spread quickly, contaminating food and causing illness. Researchers are optimistic that this approach may be used to detect other pathogens.