Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Germ-Detecting Paper

PostedJanuary 6, 2008

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Robert Pelton:  It's relatively easy to kill things.  What's not out there is detecting things, proving that you've killed everything dangerous.

Randy Atkins:  Robert Pelton, a chemical engineer at Canada's McMaster University, leads a team of researchers attaching biosensors to paper.

Robert Pelton:  You want to find dangerous bacteria in a sea of friendly ones.

Randy Atkins:  Labs do it with sensitive chemicals and equipment.  The trick is making a product that can last on grocery shelves.

Robert Pelton:  A simple paper towel that you could just wipe across the surface that would perhaps change color if it detected something that was dangerous.

Randy Atkins:  Other applications might include face masks and meat wrappers.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Such products could become available in a couple years.




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