IIT Madras, UK Researchers develop low-cost sensors to detect Antimicrobial Pollutants

IIT Madras, UK Researchers develop low-cost sensors to detect Antimicrobial Pollutants
Image Credit: IIT

A low-cost and field-deployable sensor has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, and a UK-based group researchers’ group.

This paper-based sensor can detect pollutants in water bodies which could help to monitor the environment.

The new sensor called ‘Laser Printed Microfluidic Paper-Based Analytical Sensor’ is based on a ‘see and tell’ mechanism, which will be used for environmental monitoring, food safety analysis, and health care monitoring.

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This technology will help us to understand the relationship between AMR and AMR triggering pollutants, which will help to frame out solutions to deal with grant societal AMR challenges.

S Pushpavanam, the Chair Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering in the institute, and Dr. T Renganathan, the Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering in IIT Madras, led the research to innovate the new sensor.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and UK-based Natural Environment Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) jointly funded the research under the ‘Indo-UK Water Quality Research Programme.’

The research was published in journal publication in ‘Nature Scientific’ reports.

“Paper-based sensor offers an affordable platform for various point-of-care applications as they support fluid flow based on a wicking action and governed by capillary forces. This eliminates the requirement of a pump-to-flow liquid. We have come up with a novel method for the fabrication of paper-based devices using a commercial laser printer,” Prof. S Pushpavanam explained about the research.

“We have used these fabricated devices for the detection of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, biocides such as triclosan, and heavy metals such as chromium, copper, and lead. These devices can be used for antimicrobial resistance surveillance in water bodies,” Dr. T Renganathan said.

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