Defective nanosites SERS substrate for pathogen id
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Dr Balaprasad Ankamwar, Associate Professor in Chemistry, SP Pune University, Pune, India is the Team Leader of the 'Defective nanosites as detective and effective SERS substrate for pathogens identification' team. Nanomaterialist and Mentor for DST-INSPIRE camps for budding scientists sponsored by Department of Science and Technology (DST), India. Dr. Ujjal Kumar Sur, Assistant Professor in Chemistry, Behala College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India, is interested in SERS. We have demonstrated a novel application of the SERS technique for rapid detection (1-5 sec) of pathogens like bacteria, viruses based on our developed SERS-active substrate giving highly reproducible, stable, uniform Raman signal with highly sensitive, large enhancement factor and almost zero fluctuation. One can potentially differentiate known or unknown pathogens rapidly within a few seconds such as bacteria using the SERS spectra of bacterial cell wall as fingerprint. It is especially useful for slow-growing bacteria, which typically may take weeks during laboratory tests. Moreover, characteristic changes in the SERS profile can be noticed in the drug-sensitive bacteria at an early period (i.e., 1 hr) of antibiotic exposure, which could be used to differentiate them from the drug-resistant ones. This can be extended for the characterization of E. coli, associated with urinary tract infection (UTI). Several new and unknown diseases like Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Japanese Encephalitis, Zika, Dengue can be detected rapidly by proposed technique. The detection of these harmful pathogens will facilitate foe the development of vaccines to overcome or control the diseases among the masses in the form of epidemic.