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Sheffield scientists shine a light on the detection of bacterial infection
Date:12/12/2011

it encounters gram negative bacteria. Other polymers have been shown to respond to S. aureus, a gram positive bacteria. These advances mean that a hand-held sensor device can now be developed to be used in a clinical setting.

The research is the result of a 3-year project which started in 2006, part-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) an agency of the Ministry of Defence, interested in the medical application of the research in battlefield conditions, and a subsequent EPSRC funded PhD studentship.

The team is also investigating whether using a sophisticated technique called 'fluorescence non radiative energy transfer (NRET)' to generate the light signal could enable a highly refined sensor technology that could have applications in other areas.

"For example, we think that NRET could be very useful in an anti-terrorist and public health capacity, detecting pathogen release or bacterial contamination, whether accidental or deliberate," says Dr Rimmer. "NRET also allows us to learn more about how the polymers collapse around the bacteria, which is important in developing our understanding of how bacteria interact with these novel responsive polymers."

The team is interested in talking to potential partners to take this technology forward.


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Contact: Jo Kelly
jo@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-357-2100
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

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