A team of scientists from Tufts University and Princeton University have developed a wireless bacteria detection technology which can be interfaced with a number of surfaces, including biological substrates, such as the enamel of a tooth. The researchers used graphene to achieve a very high degree of sensitivity. By printing the graphene onto water soluble silk, the sensor could then be easily transferred to biological surfaces. A patterned resonator coil design on the printed sensor acts as a passive antenna to enable power and wireless communication with the sensor.
Most recently, the researchers have demonstrated their sensor by attaching it to a tooth for monitoring of respiration and bacteria detection in saliva.Their findings have been reported in the March 27 online edition of Nature Communications.
In an interview with the folks over at Nanowerk, the researchers stress that they are still at an early proof of concept stage. However, the applications for this technology could potentially include body area sensing, hospital equipment monitoring and food quality monitoring.
Abstract in Nature Communications: Graphene-based wireless bacteria detection on tooth enamel