Navigation Links
Researchers develop rapid test strips for bacterial contamination in swimming water
Date:4/30/2012

HAMILTON, ON, April 30, 2012 Urban beach closures due to coliform outbreaks have become disturbing signs of summer, yet water-testing technology has never been fast enough to keep up with changing conditions, nor accessible enough to check all waters.

Now, researchers at McMaster University have developed a rapid testing method using a simple paper strip that can detect E. coli in recreational water within minutes. The new tool can close the gap between outbreak and detection, improving public safety.

Scientists from the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network have created and validated the viability of the test strip, which can detect potentially harmful concentrations of E. coli in water quickly and simply, with much greater accuracy than existing portable technology.

The work is described in a paper published online in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

"Coliforms are always a big problem," says the paper's lead author John Brennan, a McMaster chemistry professor who holds the Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry. "The methods used to detect outbreaks are slow, and tend not to be portable, as they often need a lab-based amplification step prior to testing, causing a time lag between an outbreak and a beach closure."

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds Sentinel, a strategic research network that spans the country and is based at McMaster. Several dozen researchers are involved in its initiatives.

Bioactive paper is both old and new, Brennan explains. Since the late1950s, physicians have been using bioactive paper to test for glucose in urine. In the last several years, the area has expanded quickly and research has become very competitive as scientists work on new applications.

"It's always a race," Brennan says.

The new strips are coated with chemicals that react to the bacteria, and are printed using inkjet technology similar to that found in standard desktop printers. Within 30 minutes of sampling, the paper changes colour to indicate the presence of E. coli, with colours coded to represent different forms and concentrations of the bacteria.

In the future, the test should make it possible for consumers to check their water affordably and easily, without additional equipment, scientific knowledge or long waits.

"One of the problems right now is that there is no simple, fast and cheap way to test recreational water, and certainly nothing out there in the realm of rapid tests for drinking water," Brennan says.

Field testing of the prototype strips is planned or under way in Canada and across the globe, in regions where untreated water poses particular health hazards. The results of these studies will help to refine the test strips and may lead to strips that are sensitive enough to tell whether water is safe enough to drink, says Brennan.

The standards for safe drinking water are hundreds of times tighter than those for safe swimming water. Typically, limits for safe swimming allow for a maximum of 100 to 500 cells in 100 mL of water, depending on jurisdiction. For water to be considered safe for drinking, there cannot be even one cell in 100 mL a little less than half a cup of water.

The next stage of pre-commercial development of the test strips is already funded by NSERC through a Phase I Idea to Innovation grant. Commercialization of a final product could take as little as two to three years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wade Hemsworth
hemswor@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140 x27988
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... and facial recognition with passcodes for superior security ... MESG ), a leading provider of secure digital communications ... pilot their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly ... provide secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... ABI Research, the leader in transformative ... market will reach more than $30 billion by ... Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the ... reach two billion shipments by 2021 at a ... Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is also ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... CereScan, the nation’s leader in providing ... National Stroke Awareness Month in May. An infographic created by CereScan will ... CereScan will donate $1 up to a maximum of $3,000 through users who ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ALBANY, New York , May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... published by Transparency Market Research "Metabolomics Market - Global ... - 2024", the metabolomics market is anticipated to expand ... to reach USD 2,494.8 million by 2024. ... known as metabolites, within cells, biofluids, tissues or organisms. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... In a list published by ... the state’s 76 fastest-growing private companies; a small percentage of the state's 615,000+ small ... on the percent change in revenue from 2012 to 2015. , As ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... -- - And Other Rising Companies - ... Competitor Biologics  - Biosimilar Drug Producers - ... Who are the most important and promising ... sales potentials? Discover, in our updated survey, organisations, outlooks ... revenue forecasting. Visiongain,s new study ...
Breaking Biology Technology: