Washington, Mar 23 (PTI) Scientists have developed a tiny device that can rapidly detect harmful bacteria in blood, allowing health care professionals to pinpoint the cause of potentially deadly infections, and help fight them with drugs.
Based on a new approach, the device rapidly isolates, retrieves and concentrates target bacteria from bodily fluids, according to the study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
It efficiently filters particles and bacteria, capturing about 86 per cent of them, said researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology in the US.
Drug-resistant bacteria, or super-bugs, are a major public health concern, researchers said.
Globally, at least 700,000 people die each year as a result of drug-resistant infections, including 230,000 deaths from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, they said.
That number could soar to 10 million deaths a year by 2050 if no action is taken, according to a 2019 report.
'The rapid identification of drug-resistant bacteria allows health care providers to prescribe the right drugs, boosting the chances of survival,' said Ruo-Qian Wang, an assistant professor at the Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the US.
The nano-device has magnetic beads of different sizes that are designed to trap, concentrate and retrieve Escherichia coli bacteria.
The small spaces between the beads are used to isolate bacteria in the device.
The inexpensive, transparent device is easy to fabricate and operate, making it ideal for detecting disease-causing organisms in laboratory and health care settings, according to the study.
The team is working to perfect the device and plans to add multiple devices onto a small chip and explore scaling up testing in the field. PTI SAR SAR