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Idr/Collaborative Research: Magnetic Beads Linked Immunoassay Meets Micro Coulter Counter: Novel Multiplexed Biosensor System For Food Safety


<p>The research objective of this Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) collaborative project is to research a novel tool/device for rapid, sensitive, and simultaneous detection of major pathogenic bacteria in foods. The approach taken will be magnetic beads-linked immunoassays combined with micro coulter counting technique to achieve simultaneous detection of multiple pathogenic bacteria in foods with high specificity and sensitivity. A number of novel features across bio-, micro-, and sensing technologies are introduced to the proposed system. Specifically this proposal will develop a simple and practical sensor for detecting the most significant food-borne pathogens in the United States (eg. Salmonella, Campylobacter and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7) in chicken and ground beef. The project's method, once optimized, can potentially be applied for detecting a wide range of other targets such as viruses, toxins, and disease-related biomarkers. If successful, the benefits of this research will include improved food and water safety, which will lead to efficient monitoring and implementation of homeland security, and enhanced public health. In addition, the proposed project offers a truly multidisciplinary training ground for the undergraduate and graduate students involved in the research. The multidisciplinary nature of the research lends itself to dissemination of information in technical as well as non-technical journals and through outreach activities. The award includes year-round undergraduate research projects, utilizing the NSF REU supplement program, UConn's School of Engineering's Da Vinci project (a project geared toward the integration of basic engineering concepts into the post-elementary school classroom), UConn's E2K program to enhance K-12 education, UMass-Lowell's Women in Sciences and Engineering program to uplift the involvement of female minority students, and activities in Homeschoolers Day.</p>

Lei, Yu; Venkitanarayanan, Kumar
University of Connecticut
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