Optical detection of waterborne pathogens using nanomaterials

Neha Bhardwaj, Sanjeev K. Bhardwaj, Deepanshu Bhatt, Dong Kwon Lim, Ki Hyun Kim, Akash Deep

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The consumption of microbiologically contaminated water poses serious threats to human health in the form of outbreaks of severe waterborne diseases. The accurate detection and identification of microbial pathogens (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) in water is thus imperative to prevent such undesirable situations. This review is organized to describe methodological approaches developed for optical sensing systems based on various nanomaterials (NMs: e.g., gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, fluorescent polymers, and optical fibers) for the waterborne pathogens. These sensors are considered a promising alternative to conventional methods that are often not feasible for use with non-culturable microbes. An overview of these sensing methods is thus provided in terms of performance (e.g., accuracy, specificity, fast response, and robustness) to expand our basic knowledge of sensing waterborne pathogens with respect to the design of advanced sensing systems and their working principle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-300
Number of pages21
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr


  • Contamination
  • Nanomaterials
  • Optical
  • Pathogen
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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