A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a portable device to detect bacteria without cell culture or microbiological assays. The hand-held device, with bio-compatible sensor can also diagnose time-critical illnesses such as meningitis researchers said. The bacterial infection is a common cause of morbidity and mortality across the world. Despite the development of a range of antibiotics, the challenge continues to lie in diagnosing bacterial infection early on.
The present techniques are extremely time- consuming. Currently, cells derived from a patient are cultured or grown in laboratories to detect and microanalyse bacteria. The new portable device, however, can instantly detect the charges on the cell walls of bacteria. The rapid detection kits are like those used for blood sugar monitoring.
The research has enabled rapid detection of bacteria, which is not just important in healthcare but also in anti- bioterrorism measures and environmental monitoring. The team work has been recently patented as well as published in the July 2019 issue of ‘Journal of Materials Chemistry of the Royal Society of Chemistry’.