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UCLA Develops Cell Phone Sensor to Detect E. coli

UCLA Cell Phone E. coli DetectorUCLA engineers have developed a cell phone-based device that can detect the presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in food and water. The cost-effective cell-phone attachment acts as a florescent microscope, quantifying the emitted light from each capillary after the specific capture of E. coli particles within a sample. By quantifying the florescent light emission from each tube, the concentration of E. coli in the sample can be determined.

The researchers, from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, recently presented the details regarding the new device online in the peer-reviewed journal The Royal Society of Chemistry. Authors of the research include UCLA electrical engineering postdoctoral scholar Hongying Zhu; UCLA electrical engineering undergraduate student Uzair Sikora; and UCLA associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering Aydogan Ozcan. Ozcan is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and leads the Ozcan Research Group for innovation through photonics for global health solutions.

For further technical details access the Royal Society of Chemistry publication “Quantum dot enabled detection of Escherichia coli using a cell-phone.”

The Ozcan Research Group is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Research Office.

Image provided courtesy of UCLA.

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