Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ideas Unlimited works with CFTRI for development of Portable, Bioluminescence meter using Silicon Photo Diode


Ideas Unlimited is collaborating with CFTRI (http://www.cftri.com/ - Central Food and Technological Research Institute, Mysore), to develop a low cost silicon photo-diode based Luminometer, which can detect very low intensity of Bio-Luminescence emitted by biological reactions.

CFTRI is working on Bio-luminescence based applications for detection of food contamination and other applications. In this initiative, as a first step, Ideas Unlimited has conceptualized and designed some prototype setups for experimenting with a silicon photo-diode to sense different bio-luminescence reactions and comparing results generated with lab grade equipment which use more expensive Photo-multiplier tubes. 

Picture 1: Experimental setup with Silicon photo diode and slot to insert sample in a test tube.
Picture 2: Experimental setup optically sealed by the lid before measurements.


Picture 3: 3D-Model showing internals of of the test setup
Picture 4: Screenshot of the data logging software developed by Ideas Unlimited for the experimental setup
The Luminometer experiments are conducted at CFTRI using enzymes synthesized by CFTRI in their labs. 

A low cost, portable Luminometer, if developed will have tremendous applications in the fields of Agriculture, Food Inspection and Quality Control, Contamination detection, Clinical Pathology and Medical fields.
 
What is Bio-luminescence?
[Source: Wikipedia]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Bioluminescence is a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of light emission.

Fireflies, anglerfish, and other creatures produce the chemicals luciferin (a pigment) and luciferase (an enzyme).The luciferin reacts with oxygen to create light. The luciferase acts as a catalyst to speed up the reaction, which is sometimes mediated by cofactors such as calcium ions or ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). The chemical reaction can occur either inside or outside the cell. In bacteria, the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon.

How Bioluminescence works?
The link below graphically explains how bio-luminescence works.

[Source: howstuffworks.com]
http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/all-about-animals/bioluminescence3.htm

Challenges in measuring Bio-luminescence using Silicon Photo-diode
A normal silicon photo diode requires luminance to the tune of micro-watts per centimeter square. However most of the bioluminescence produced is in the order of nano-watts or pico-watts per centimeter square. At these levels a silicon photo diode's junction will not even trigger. A workaround had to be devised to detect such low bioluminescence.

1 comment:

  1. I like the product.. and the software screen shot looks professional.. no way near experimental :) +1 ! - Deepak

    ReplyDelete