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Swimming water contamination detected with rapid test strips developed by McMaster researchers

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a rapid testing method using a simple paper strip that can detect E. coli in recreational water within minutes. The new tool can speed up detection, a key factor in improving public safety.

The new strips are coated with chemicals that react to E. coli,  and are printed using inkjet technology similar to that found in standard desktop printers. Within 30 minutes of sampling, the paper changes colour to indicate the presence of the bacteria, with colours coded to represent different forms and concentrations of the bacteria.

Scientists from the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network, a strategic research network funded by NSERC,  have created and validated the viability of the test strip, which can detect potentially harmful concentrations of E. coli in water quickly and simply, with much greater accuracy than existing portable technology.

Click here for the full Daily news article.