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K-State chemists' biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection
Date:3/29/2011

on developing biosensors for cancer diagnosis and pathogen detection. To develop these biosensors, the team uses carbon nanofibers, or CNFs, because they can form an array of tiny electrodes that is even smaller than bacteria and viruses. When these microbial particles are captured at the electrode surface, an electric signal can be detected.

"A goal is to integrate this technology into a hand-held electronic device for pathogen detection so that we can use this device for in-line monitoring of water quality or food quality at industrial processing sites," Syed said. "We have some preliminary results that indicate this technology is feasible, and I'm quite happy about that."

The project is supported by a Canadian-based company called Early Warning Inc., which provided the K-State research team with $240,000 for two years as part of the developmental work. Recently, the project was also supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, at K-State.

"We're still working with the company and trying to eventually deliver this as a product to feed the market for water quality monitoring," Li said. "You don't want people to drink contaminated water and get sick before you can do something. This research can be very helpful in the future as it can be applied in the very early stages before an outbreak spreads.

"Nanotechnology is a diverse field, and includes such biosensor devices that we can develop in this lab at the university," he said. "As long as we look for those opportunities, we can create something that is useful for Kansas and for people living here."


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Contact: Jun Li
junli@k-state.edu
785-532-0955
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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