Toxicity in Real Time Via Dip Chip

by Kathy Jones on  May 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM News on IT in Healthcare   - G J E 4
Synthetic chemicals and poisons that contaminate water or food supplies and generate bodily reactions from minor illness to painful death can now be rapidly detected.
 Toxicity in Real Time Via Dip Chip
Toxicity in Real Time Via Dip Chip

Yosi Shacham-Diamand, professor of engineering at Tel Aviv University, and Shimshon Belkin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have married biology and engineering to design a biosensor called the "Dip Chip," which detects toxicity quickly and accurately.

The Dip Chip contains microbes designed to exhibit a biological reaction to toxic chemicals, duplicating the biological responses of humans or animals. The bio-reaction is converted into an electronic signal that can be read by the user.

When perfected for commercial use, the chip might be esily plugged into a mobile device to determine toxicity, says Shacham-Diamand, the journals Electrochimica Acta and Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical report.

The new chips are based on genetically modified microbes developed in Belkin's lab. When they are exposed to toxic or poisonous substances, they produce a measurable biochemical reaction - and this is where Shacham-Diamand's work begins, according to a Tel Aviv statement.

"The device, which looks like a dip stick, immobilizes these specially-produced microbes next to the sensing electrodes. Once the microbes come into contact with a questionable substance they produce a chemical signal that is converted to an electrical current by an device that can interpret the signals, producing a binary 'toxic' or 'not toxic' diagnosis," adds Shacham-Diamand.

Source: IANS

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