Ramprasad Karanam, “Non-Invasive Detection of Thin Biofilm”
Mentor: Marcia Silva, Global Water Center
Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Shigella are examples of bacterial pathogens that can enter the body through drinking water. Detection of bacterial growth and biofilm in a water pipes are pertinent to avoiding such bacterial infections. Current solutions to this problem include introducing a chemical to attract the bacteria to a single point to be detected and implementing optical transceivers. We have designed a sensor to actively detect and record biofilm growth in water through non-invasive means. This sensor is a non-invasive system that sends signals through the sample being tested on. The response of the system is measured and recorded to determine the amount of biofilm growth within the sample. This system was tested using salt solutions and a water bath to observe and record the response of the system when the medium is under different conditions. These tests were also performed with three piping materials: copper, cast-iron, and PVC. The non-invasive nature of its implementation as well as its ability to actively collect data gives this system an advantage over the current solutions.
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