James R. Carey, from the National University of Kaohsiung (Taiwan), and colleagues have devised an infectious-disease sensing device. The size of a small plastic bottle, it is filled with a microbial growth medium on one side and an array comprising 36 dots of chemoresponsive dyes on the other; the medium and array are separated by a permeable membrane. The blood sample is injected into the bottle, where the infectious agent grows and releases characteristic combinations of chemical byproducts. These compounds pass through the membrane and react with the dots of dye to change their colors. By tracking the color changes over time, a unique signature of the infectious agent is revealed. The process takes 24 hours – one-third of the time of conventional culturing.
Ming Hsun Cheng, James R Carey. “Streamlining the diagnosis of blood stream infections by combining detection with identification” [Abstract #280]. Presented at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), 12 Sept. 2013.
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