The test, published in the Lab on a Chip Journal, is an inexpensive microfluidic strip – comprising of tiny test tubes about the size of a human hair – capable of identifying bacteria found in urine samples and checking if they are resistant to common antibiotics. The team say that ‘Lab-on-a-Stick’ is easy to use and cheap to make, and the transparent microcapillary film is suitable for naked eye detection or measurement with portable, inexpensive equipment such as a smartphone camera.
I am always impressed by the ingenuity of our chemical engineering community to find ways to communicate about our work, so when I was contact by Erik Engebretsen a member of a team of PhD students, lecturers and industrial partners based at UCL (University College London) about their public engagement work I was immediately interested.
In 2011 the idea to start the initiative came from a suggestion by Ralph Clague and Ellen Dowell (the curator of Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival) that it could be possible to power a small tent of electronics at Green Man using just green energy.
Ralph then began searching for UCL students interested in taking on the idea as a summer project, aiming to find a way to build a hydrogen cell system that could provide emission free power for Einstein’s garden.