BIOSENSOR DEVELOPED TO MONITOR SINGLE BACTERIA-BIOMEDICAL INNOVATION

With an invention that can be made from some of the same parts used in CD players, University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to measure the growth and drug susceptibility of individual bacterial cells without the use of a microscope.

The new biosensor promises to speed treatment of bacterial infections, said Raoul Kopelman, who is the Richard Smalley Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Applied Physics and a professor of biomedical engineering, biophysics and chemical biology.

Instead of waiting days for culture results, clinicians will be able to determine in minutes the antibiotic best able to treat the infection. This advance, along with the sensor’s potential use in screening existing and newly discovered compounds for antibiotic activity, could improve patient outcome, reduce healthcare costs and reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance

Because it also detects the response of individual cancer cells, the sensor could someday be used as well in cancer drug development and treatment. The research is reported in the Jan. 15 issue of the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

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