A research team comprising of biologists and bioengineers at UC San Diego, have been able to create a living neon sign using bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in together, just like blinking light bulbs.
The living neon displays are created using millions of living fluorescent Escherichia coli, a rod-shaped bacterium that live in our intestines. Watch the video after the jump more a demonstration.
The teams largest bio-chips contain 50 to 60 million fluorescent E. coli cells, providing around 13,000 biopixels, while the smallest ones have about 2.5 million, around 500 pixels. Jeff Hasty, professor of biology and bioengineering at UC San Diego, and who headed the research team explains:
“These kinds of living sensors are intriguing as they can serve to continuously monitor a given sample over long periods of time, whereas most detection kits are used for a one-time measurement,” – “Because the bacteria respond in different ways to different concentrations by varying the frequency of their blinking pattern, they can provide a continual update on how dangerous a toxin or pathogen is at any one time.”
For more information on the new living neon displays jump over to the UCSanDiego website.
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