Tuesday, 28 Feb, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: Bacteria-Detecting Scanner for Mobile Phones


In the near future it would be possible to scan your food for dangerous bacteria. One of the recent inventions presented by UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is a prototype model of a bacteria-detecting scanner for cell phones.

The scanner can be connected to any camera of a mobile phone and with the help of semiconducting quantum dots in combination with glass capillary tubes that feature antibodies the device can help spot such bacteria as E. coli.

Here's how it works: liquid samples with the E. coli bacteria are put within the scanner. Then they are captured on the capillary surface. There they get "excited" with the help of LED bulbs. This leads to quantum dots emitting florescent light that is magnified using a lens found under the capillaries. The last step involves the capturing of bacteria by the phone's camera.

It is possible to say that the device scanner plays the role of an inexpensive small florescent microscope. The concentration of E. coli is established by estimating the amount of light being emitted within each tube.

Current there has been no information on whether the invention will be launched onto the market. A paper regarding the study was published in the journal of The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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