Using a small and inexpensive biosensor, researchers have built a diagnostic tool that provides healthcare practitioners almost instant diagnosis of a bacterial infection.

Mohammad Zarifi shows his small biosensor that can be used to provide real-time diagnosis of a bacterial infection. (Credit: University of British Columbia)

The tool provides accurate and reliable results in real-time rather than the two to five days required for existing processes that test infections and antibiotic susceptibility.

The researchers tested their device by tracking the amount of bacteria present in a variety of samples under various scenarios. The scenarios resembled those encountered in clinical microbiological laboratories.

By sending a microwave signal through the sample, the device quickly and accurately analyzes and then generates a profile of existing bacteria. The diagnostic tool not only provides a rapid, label-free, and contactless diagnostic tool for clinical analysis, but it also goes further.

This biosensor is a significant step forward in improving the complex antibiotic susceptibility testing workflow and provides a rapid and automated detection of bacteria as well as screening the bacteria proliferation in response to antibiotics.

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