Researchers Developed Method to Identify Harmful Bacteria

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Researchers used green gold to develop a method for identifying harmful bacteria, according to a study published on August 14, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN). This newly developed method screen and identify harmful or antibiotic-resistant bacteria within one hour using a portable luminometer. The conventional diagnostic methods usually require complex equipment and lab work, which will consume more time. During a chemical reaction, chemiluminescence or the emission of light is used by the method. Researchers developed this new method for the food industry and can also be used in healthcare settings.

The new technology was demonstrated by the researchers from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Science and Engineering at UMN by analyzing surface swabs and urine samples for the presence of small concentrations of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This bacteria causes over 11,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.

Green gold, in the form of triangular nanoplates, was integrated with a reducing agent and luminol for screening microorganisms. This led to a strong chemiluminescent reaction that was stable for as long as 10 minutes. When MRSA and other microorganisms were introduced into the combination by the researchers, gold nanoplates were consumed by them. Furthermore, chemiluminescent intensity decreased proportional to the microbial concentration, which indicated a presence of microorganisms.

Abdennour Abbas, a professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, who directed the research said, “More work is needed to apply this technology to more complex samples such as food and crops, but we’re hopeful that progress will continue in this area.” Researchers said that further research is required for this method to be used in real-world applications.

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