A combination of sugar and iron oxide in the Spanish scientist who works in Florida could be the secret weapon for early detection of the presence of cholera in polluted water in the epidemic in Haiti killed more than three thousand people. Puerto Rico Dr. Jose Manuel Perez leads a group of scientists from the University of Central Florida (UCF, for its acronym in English) that investigates the use of nanotechnology in the detection of cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by contaminated food or water with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
The bacteria can live in the guts of a person for up to 14 days before being released in the form of diarrhea, making it, according to World Health Organization (WHO), “a global threat.”
“We found through our experiments that the dextrose, which is simply a sugar complex acts similarly to the toxin produced by cholera bacteria that are attached to the walls of the intestine of infected people with the disease” , Perez said.
The combination of iron oxide coated with dextrose runs on water as they would the toxin from the bacteria in the gut wall, drawing her, as scientists have found that occurs in the intestines of patients.
“We set out to do research with agencies (not active) of cholera and use dextrose particles coated with iron oxide and got incredible results,” he added.
This seemingly simple recipe is a meticulous scientific work in which the secret ingredient is nanotechnology, which is aimed at controlling and manipulating matter on a scale smaller than a micrometer, one thousandth of a millimeter. Perez explained that the use of nanotechnology in the detection of cholera not only facilitate the work of thousands of emergency workers and disaster around the world, but also would lower costs.