Waterloo University researchers invented an affordable as well as a quick method to test the Escherichia Coli. Escherichia Coli coliform bacterium of the genus Escherichia that commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. The E. coli strains are harmless but sometimes they can cause food poisoning.
The currently available test can take around three days and cost up to $70 whereas the latest technique of Waterloo University experts operates paper strips like those in litmus tests to deliver brings about under three hours at a cost of 50%.
The executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Mr. Sushanta Mitra said, “This has the potential to allow routine, affordable water testing to help billions of people in the developing world avoid getting sick”. Further, he said, “It is a breakthrough”.
With the help of the newly developed technique, it is possible to improve the water safety as well as it helps to reduce the testing costs for municipal treatment systems.
The paper strips used in this method is developed by Sushanta Mitra and his team is fastened with sugar which initiates to dissolve when placed in water. Escherichia coli microbes are pulled in by the subsequent sugar trail and get caught in the permeable paper when they interact with it.
When water passes on the paper it takes microscopic organisms into a range of the strip containing a blend of chemicals, where Escherichia Coli respond with those chemicals and turn the strip pinkish red to connote a positive test.
Sushanta Mitra is a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at Waterloo University. Mr. Sushanta Mitra said, “Simple ideas create paradigm shifts in technology and this is a simple, frugal innovation”.