Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Room: Marriott Balcony A
Kristen Trinh - University of Arkansas
Bodies of water as large as lakes and rivers can easily get contaminated with pathogenic bacteria due to pollution, animals, or humans. Common pathogenic bacteria like Escherichia coli, Vibrio species, and Salmonella species can potentially make these areas unsafe for humans. Because of the dangers associated with these strains of bacteria, these bodies of water must constantly be tested to ensure the area is clean and safe for public use. Conventional bacterial sampling methods can range from 48-72 hours, which causes the water quality results to be outdated and inaccurate. This project addresses this problem by introducing magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) as a new bacterial detection method to reduce the time for water quality results. In this project, MNPs were added to water samples to form MNP-cells and extracted using a neodymium magnet. The samples were plated on selective agar to differentiate the types of bacteria present. MNP-cells were then viewed under a microscope to confirm the identity. MNPs were able to extract and identify all strains of tested bacteria more efficiently and accurately when compared to the conventional bacterial sampling methods. E. coli, Vibrio spp., and Salmonella spp. were detected in the water samples. MNP bacterial sampling was completed in 24 hours, successfully cutting down the conventional testing time. There are many benefits to using MNPs as a method of detection. This method does not require additional technology, which allows this detection method to be more accessible to developing countries. MNPs can also be used to test for bacteria in drinking water and food. Future research could look into using more selective media to test for even more types of pathogenic bacteria, which can help reduce the amount of pathogenic bacterial outbreaks worldwide.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to thank E. Alocilja for guidance through the project. Funding was provided by AGEP and The Graduate School at Michigan State University.
Faculty Advisor: Evangelyn Alocilja, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I was the sole researcher in this project. I researched which types of selective agar would be the best at detecting the bacteria and then created those bacterial sampling plates. I also created the magnetic nanoparticles with the assistance of my faculty advisor. I ran the experiment and collected the data and results.