ARI Bug Sniffer

Scientists at the Agharkar Research Institute have developed a biosensor that is capable of detecting bacterial presence as few as 10 cells.

About the Sensor

The sensor, called ‘bug sniffer’, is a biosensor composed using synthetic peptides, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots. In addition, a chip made of microchannels of copper wire and poly-dimethylsiloxane has also been developed. The scientists are now working to enable simultaneous separation and detection of E.coli and Salmonella typhimurium.


  • It is portable
  • It will enable detection of water and food borne bacterial pathogens.
  • It can detect bacteria in just 30 minutes- time effective.
  • As few as 10 bacteria can be detected.
  • Materials required for its manufacture are easily available.
  • The biosensor is cost-effective.


The ‘bug sniffer’ was developed by scientists in line with the goal of developing lab-on-a-chip devices for diagnosis. Devices that integrate one or more lab functions onto a single chip/ integrated circuit is called lab-on-a-chip or LOC. These devices will enable quicker analysis, low sample consumption, low manufacturing costs, etc.

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