State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012AL133B
Title: Development of an In-Situ Capable Method for Detecting Pathogenic Organisms
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: Third
Focus Categories: Surface Water, Water Quality, Methods
Keywords: Pathogenic bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, nanoparticle, DNA, in-situ detection, microfluidics
Principal Investigator: Son, Ahjeong
Federal Funds: $ 25,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 51,019
Abstract: We will develop a rapid, accurate, modern yet robust, in-situ technique for the detection of E. Coli O157:H7 in water at levels as low as 100 pathogenic organisms per mL. The basis of our technique is the novel use of advanced multi-functional nanoparticles which can be specifically assembled together only in the presence of the target pathogen. It can be easily extended to the detection of other pathogens once the core technology has been developed.

Specific results of this research will be the demonstration and optimization of the assay on an inline miniaturized fluidic based platform. In particular, we will focus on the ability to mix and hybridize the nanoparticles with a microfluidic based microreactor chip and the optimization of its flow rates, residence time, temperature, concentrations of reagents and size of magnetic beads. The inline magnetic trapping of magnetic bead tethered nanoparticles will also be demonstrated and its operation parameters such as flow rates and magnetic trap geometry optimized.

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