A graphene based sensor may be able to detect multiple substances like bacteria and other pathogens in food as part of a food safety system.
“With several recent recalls—including 12 million pounds of ground beef over fears of salmonella as well as romaine lettuce due to an E. coli outbreak–detecting pathogens in food has become increasingly important.
Researchers from China Jiliang University have created a new graphene-based sensor that can simultaneously detect multiple substances like bacteria and other pathogens in food before it ever hits the supermarket shelves.
“Our design is based on graphene sheets, which are two-dimensional crystals of carbon just one atom thick,” research team member Bing-Gang Xiao said in a statement. “The sensor is not only highly sensitive but can also be easily adjusted to detect different substances.”
Graphene is often seen as an attractive option for plasmon sensors that use electromagnetic waves to propagate along the surface of a conducting material in response to light exposure because of its unique optical and electronic properties. The sensors are able to detect a substance by measuring how the refractive index changes when a substance of interest is close to the graphene’s surface.
Graphene is considered a better option than metals like gold and silver because it exhibits stronger plasmon waves with longer propagation distances.
It is also possible to change the wavelength at which graphene is responsive by applying a polarization voltage rather than recreating the entire device.
However, it was previously difficult to produce graphene sensors that operate with the infrared wavelengths needed to detect bacteria and biomolecules….”
Graphene-Based Sensor Helps Identify Bacteria in Food
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