A portable and power-free test from academics at Loughborough University and the University of Reading rapidly detects bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

The microfluidic strips can be used in a range of tests, including blood typing and antimicrobial resistance.
(Credit: University of Reading)

The new "Lab-on-a-Stick" test is an inexpensive microfluidic strip, consisting of tiny test tubes about the size of a human hair. The strips can be used for a range of analyses, including bacteria identification, blood typing, and anti-microbial resistance.

The "dip-and-read" method uses a transparent microcapillary film, suitable for naked-eye detection or measurement with a smartphone camera.

“This is a major step towards miniaturizing complex, routine, microbiological, and clinical tests that cannot at the moment be performed outside of the laboratory setting," said Dr Nuno Reis, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University.