IIT Bombay develops cost-effective device to detect bacterial pathogens in wastewater
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) scientists have created a cost-effective portable device to detect DNA in wastewater, aiding in the early detection of viral and bacterial pathogens.
Prof. Siddharth Tallur, from the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay, mentioned, “The technology developed in our work holds promise for the realisation of a truly cost-effective solution for wastewater-based epidemiology."
This sensor can identify pathogens by detecting colour changes, caused by DNA interacting with methylene blue dye. It uses an indigenously built phase-sensitive detection circuit to convert colour changes into a voltage signal, which a mobile app can read via Bluetooth.
While cost-effective, the sensor's specificity is limited due to methylene blue's binding to any DNA in the sample. Researchers anticipate improvements in sensitivity and specificity with advancements in dyes, target-specific probes, and microfluidic chips.