ColoUr Tunable Gold Nanoparticles for Visual Detection of Pathogens
Novel pathogen detection system:
- Has tunable colour
- Does not require sophisticated equipment
- Changes color dramatically in the presence of pathogens
- Presents a signature color change for each strain of pathogen
The global contact lens market size is estimated to be $7.1 billion as of 2012. Contact lens wear increases the risk of microbial keratitis, which can lead to blindness. One of the major factors in preventing such infections is appropriate hygiene and care of the contact lens storage case. Currently, only a quarter of wearers replace their contact lens case within the recommended 1 month period. This provides an opportunity for pathogens to contaminate and proliferate in the lens case. Since these pathogens are not visible to the naked eye, users continue to use the case and risk infection with these pathogens by transferring them to the eye via the contact lens.
Description of the Invention
Our novel pathogen detection technology changes color in the presence of harmful levels of the pathogen. It is also able to provide a unique color change for each strain of pathogen. This provides a visual indication to the wearer that it is unsafe to continue using their contact lens case. The technology uses nanoparticles which have a distinct color in the absence of pathogens and then the aggregation of these particles with pathogens gives them a different color.
Potential Use and Applications
The nanoparticles can be used either in contact lens solutions or immobilized on contact lens cases. They can also possibly detect biofilms, which are extremely difficult to eliminate using existing lens care solutions.