Have you ever thought that bacteria make unique sounds? If we can hear bacteria, we can know if they are still alive. When bacteria are killed by antibiotics, these sounds stop unless the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Now, researchers from the farbold arijani research group at Delft University of technology in the Netherlands have successfully used graphene to capture the low-level noise of a single bacterium. The related research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology on the 18th.
The research team initially studied the basic mechanics of graphene, but they wanted to know what would happen if this extremely sensitive material came into contact with a single biological object.”Graphene is a form of carbon that consists of a single layer of atoms, also known as’ magical material ‘.””It’s very strong, has good electrical and mechanical properties, and is very sensitive to external forces,” farbod arijani said
The researchers conducted the first experiment on E. coli. It was found that when bacteria attached to the surface of graphene drum, it would produce random vibration with amplitude as low as several nanometers, and researchers could detect and hear the sound of a single bacterium.
This tiny vibration comes from the processes of bacterial organisms, mainly from their flagella. In order to make people better understand how tiny the”beat” of bacterial flagella on graphene is, for example, if bacteria were allowed to fight boxing sandbags, they would be at least 10 billion times less powerful than human boxers. Now, these nanoscale”beats” can be converted into tracks and heard.
The researchers said that this study has great significance for the detection of antibiotic resistance. The results are clear:if bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, the vibration will continue at the same level. When bacteria are susceptible to drugs, the vibration will gradually weaken in an hour or two until it disappears completely. Due to the high sensitivity of graphene drum, this phenomenon can be detected with only one battery.
“In the future, our goal is to optimize our single-cell graphene antibiotic sensitivity platform and verify it against various pathogenic samples, so that it can eventually be used as an effective diagnostic toolkit to quickly detect antibiotic resistance in clinical practice,” arijani said Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to human health all over the world. This will be an”invaluable tool” in combating antibiotic resistance.
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For the micro world, most of the time, we still”see the person without hearing the voice”, observe it with a microscope, and judge the life and death of bacteria with staining and culture methods. This time, researchers have opened up new ideas. Since graphene is such a magical and sensitive material, if bacteria move on its surface, will it leave a”footstep” sound? This force is extremely slight, and it needs sensitive materials and”ears” to catch it. Researchers believe that hearing the sound of bacterial activity provides a new way to judge the vitality of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance is a difficult problem in the world. If graphene antibiotic sensitivity platform is developed, bacterial resistance can be tested quickly.