Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) have developed a paper-based sensor capable of detecting antimicrobial pollutants, which induce antimicrobial resistance in bodies of water.
This sensor operates on a view and read mechanism which makes it logistically efficient for large scale implementation.
Scientific communities around the world are focusing on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which could eventually become a global health crisis involving deadly pathogens.
Water bodies are the primary source of diffusion and transfer of antimicrobial resistance. Periodic monitoring of antimicrobial pollutants and antibiotic resistant genes is essential to assess the current situation of antimicrobial resistance in India.
The team has developed a new strategy for the low cost fabrication of robust analytical sensors based on laser printed microfluidic paper. This will help easily detect antimicrobials in the parts per million range.
The process uses the readily available laser printer and therefore offers enormous potential for large-scale sensor fabrication. This could enable community microfluidics and facilitate mass surveillance.
It will also help understand the relationship between antimicrobial resistance and the pollutants that trigger antimicrobial resistance and help policymakers develop solutions to address the major societal challenges of antimicrobial resistance.
The new sensor can be used for environmental monitoring, healthcare and also for food safety analysis, the results published in the journal revealed. Scientific reports.
âPaper-based sensors provide an affordable platform for a variety of point-of-care applications because they support wicking-based fluid flow and are governed by capillary forces.
This eliminates the need for flow pump fluids. We have developed a new method for making paper-based devices using a commercial laser printer, âS Pushpavanam, professor in the chemical engineering department at IIT Madras, said in a statement. .
The team used the devices manufactured for the detection of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, biocides such as triclosan, and heavy metals such as chromium, copper and lead. The devices can be used for monitoring antimicrobial resistance in water bodies, they said.
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