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July 20th, 2007
Testing food quality with cantilevers
Researchers have created two tiny instruments capable of detecting a range of contaminants, from molecules to whole bacteria, in food and water, according to an article in the August issue of Microbiology Today.
Cantilevers are miniature diving boards that measure 200 micrometers long and 40 micrometers wide, about half the width of a human hair. Two cantilevers are placed in a sensor and liquid is passed through them. When the molecule or microbe that is being looked for binds to its surface, the board bends and its electrical resistance is altered. Detection is achieved by measuring the change in resistance.
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