The new system uses a magnetoelastic biosensor (a low cost, wireless acoustic wave sensor platform) combined with a scanning coil detector. The biosensors are coated with a pathogen recognition layer containing bacteriophages that are specific to the target bacteria.
The researchers say that it is the design of the reading device that is key to their biosensor system, because the sensor no longer needs to be read inside the scanning coil. This has enabled it to be incorporated into a hand-held device that can be used to detect surface contamination in the field in real time.
A patent for the system has been filed and a report published in the Journal of Applied Physics. An abstract can be found here.