JAPAN – A team of researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University has unveiled a groundbreaking handheld device capable of electrochemically detecting multiple bacteria in food products.

Led by Professor Hiroshi Shiigi, the team’s innovation offers rapid on-site detection, a significant advancement in preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness.

The newly developed device aims to bolster bacterial contamination detection, which traditionally involves time-consuming laboratory testing. With a focus on pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella, the device promises quick identification, crucial for safeguarding public health and ensuring food safety.

Published in Analytical Chemistry, the study details the team’s experimentation with a biosensor capable of simultaneous detection of multiple disease-causing bacterial species within an hour.

Utilizing organic metallic nanohybrids of gold and copper, the biosensor distinguishes electrochemical signals on a screen-printed electrode chip, ensuring accurate detection without interference.

The palm-sized device is designed for seamless integration with a smartphone app, allowing users to easily monitor bacterial contamination levels. Professor Shiigi highlights the convenience of this feature, emphasizing its potential to streamline safety checks in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

The research team envisions broader applications for their innovation, aiming to develop new organic metallic nanohybrids capable of detecting additional bacterial species.

With its ability to provide rapid assessments prior to food and pharmaceutical shipment, the device promises to enhance safety protocols and minimize risks associated with bacterial contamination.

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