Mersing Polytechnic invents mobile incubator to detect bacteria in water

Siti Farah (right) with PMJ Information Technology and Communications faculty lecturer Zainolrin Saari showing off the QR Water software and mobile incubator that detects Escherichia Coli (E-Coli) dan Coliform bacteria in water. — Bernama

MERSING: A group of researchers from Politeknik Mersing (PMJ) has reportedly successfully created a portable incubator that can detect Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Coliform bacteria in treated or contaminated water sources in a shorter period of time.

Chief researcher Siti Farah Hussin said in an interview with Bernama here recently that the initiative was started when it was found that microbiologists often faced issues with testing water samples at its source.

She said the traditional method of conducting tests on water samples is usually done in a laboratory, which requires a lengthy 18 to 24 hours to complete, as well as more frequent observations to look out for bacterial growth.

“This incubator can be used in a direct current (DC) connection, by using a battery source that can last up to two days (48 hours), or even through a regular plug to identify the presence of E.coli and Coliform bacteria that can be done anywhere.

“Through a study conducted with the Ranhill SAJ Sri Gading central laboratory, Batu Pahat, this incubator was able to identify the presence of E.coli and Coliform bacteria in just six hours,” said the lecturer from the polytechnic’s Information and Communication Technology Department.

Siti Farah further explained that the incubator leverages image processing technology and the Internet of Things, which are both important elements in the Industrial Revolution 4.0, adding that the incubator could also be connected to a smartphone equipped with QR Water software.

QR Water utilises two-factor authentication technology, ensuring that only users registered in the database can use the QR Water incubator and software.

Siti Farah said the research was recognised not only locally but also abroad. A research paper entitled “Detection of Escherichia Coli Bacteria: A Review of Image Processing Method” was also published in the International Journal Of Software Engineering And Computer Systems.

“This research paper was also presented at The 4th International Conference on Research in TVET Studies which took place at Pamulang University, Indonesia.

“Besides that, this innovation also won a gold medal at the 2020 Bangkok International Intellectual Property, Invention, Innovation and Technology Exposition in Thailand last February,” she said. – Bernama

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