Narrator: This is Science Today. A fast, portable and cost-effective way to detect life-threatening pathogens in water and food is especially critical in resource-poor countries where E. coli and salmonella outbreaks most often occur. Engineer Aydogan Ozcan, of the UCLA School of Engineering, has developed a sensor that can attach to a cell phone to create a field portable detector.
Ozcan: Our recent work actually used some spatial microfluid devices that had surface chemistry on them to specifically capture E. coli and image them and quantify them using a cellphone attachment.
Narrator: Currently, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense are helping to fund this technology for field use.
Ozcan: There are also some studies that are under progress, as well as we have a commercialization process for the same technologies. So that we can have mass production of these technologies to be used by public and health care workers in large quantities.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.