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Working to commercialize phone-based pathogen detector

 

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.