The utility of the luminous beetle is often overlooked, but this insect has some amazing capabilities that can make life easier. Its bioluminescence produces a faint, greenish light which can be used to light up dark areas for a short period of time. Not only does this provide a handy source of light in the dark, but it can also be used as a form of communication. Additionally, the light produced by the beetle has medical applications that are beneficial to humans.
The research is by Russian women scientists. They created a novel microbial contamination sensor. What is it based on? On an improved glow beetle technology. What is the utility of the glow beetle? It can monitor sterility in medicine, food industry and gastronomy.
They are experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences. They developed a new high-performance sensors for microbial contamination. It is based on the phenomenon of bioluminescence. It is the natural glow of, for example, beetles of the family Lampyridae (light beetles). This glow is achieved by adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is the main source of energy for living cells.
The bioluminescent method evaluates microbial contamination. It compares the intensity of luminescence and the level of ATP contained in the analyzed sample.
“Our latest research describes a method of preparing a biological module. It is biosensor-reactive and contains the enzyme responsible for the glow and its substrate D-luciferin, fixed in gelatin. The best effect was achieved when they were stabilized separately,” explained SFU professor Valentina Kratasyuk.
Co-author Yelena Esimbekova detailed how the research development works and why it is advantageous. “The stabilized reagent provides a high bioluminescence signal. The higher the signal, the higher the sensitivity of the biosensor and the lower the amount of ATP. So do the microbes that can be detected. Other advantages of our method are its simplicity and safety,” he further elaborated.
The technology was tested with bacteria Escherichia coli. Significantly reduce the cost and simplify the use of biosensors. According to their creators, the new sensors are suitable for many uses. These include the catering, dairy and meat industries, for example. Also in everyday life to check the cleanliness of hands and table surfaces. The usefulness of the light beetle is diverse.
The results of the research were published in the journal. Biosensors.