Bacteriophages on paper for the colorimetric detection of Escherichia coli in lake water

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Chavez-Santoscoy, Miguel
Major Professor
Rebecca Cademartiri
Michelle L. Soupir
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Outbreaks of diseases in recreational waters are frequent and cause death worldwide. The EPA established the water quality standard for the fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), Escherichia coli, to determine when there is a risk to public health in the U.S. However, a quick method to detect and quantify E. coli in situ is needed. In this work, we developed a paper-based device for pathogen detection with a focus on FIB E. coli. T4 bacteriophages were physically adsorbed on paper and able to capture E. coli in 5 minutes. For the first time, metabolic changes of bacteria in lake water were considered for designing two colorimetric assays for detection. The limit of detection (LOD) was 104 colony forming units (CFU) (p<0.05) and the color could be observed by the naked eye on the paper within an hour at room temperature. A pre-concentration was coupled to this technology achieving a LOD 5 X 105 CFU in 100 milliliters filtered. The conditions of assays are field-friendly for testing even in remote places and developing countries.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016