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Surface Charge Based Rapid Method for Detection of Microbial Contamination in Drinking Water and Food Products

Authors: Kandpal M., Gundampati R. K, Debnath M.


Microbial contamination, most of which are fecal born in drinking water and food industry is a serious threat to humans. Escherichia coli is one of the most common and prevalent among them. We have developed a sensor for rapid and an early detection of contaminants, taking E.coli as a threat indicator organism. The sensor is based on co-polymerizations of aniline and formaldehyde in form of thin film over glass surface using the vacuum deposition technique. The particular doping combination of thin film with Fe-Al and Fe-Cu in different concentrations changes its non conducting properties to p- type semi conductor. This property is exploited to detect the different contaminants, believed to have the different surface charge. It was found through experiments that different microbes at same OD (0.600 at 600 nm) have different conductivity in solution. Also the doping concentration is found to be specific for attracting microbes on the basis of surface charge. This is a simple, cost effective and quick detection method which not only decreases the measurement time but also gives early warnings for highly contaminated samples.

Keywords: Sensor, thin film, Vacuum deposition technique, E.coli detection, doping concentration

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