Exponent and Boston University,
Keywords: microfluidics, antibiotic susceptibility
Summary:The extensive use of antibiotics to treat infections, without first specifically identifying the underlying cause, has resulted in a strong natural selection for antibiotic resistant organisms. Conservative estimates from the CDC indicate that more than two million people are sickened by antibiotic-resistant infections in the US each year, leading to more than 23,000 deaths. Because it takes days by traditional methods to identify the etiological organism and its drug-susceptibility profile, up to 50% of all antibiotics prescribed are not needed or are not optimally effective. This significant threat to human health is starting to be addressed technologically through the development and commercialization of novel rapid diagnostics. The approaches include phenotypic and genotypic methodologies that target a variety of direct and indirect biomarkers, including protein, lipid, and cell-based phenotypic assays as well as molecular diagnostic approaches. One of the key area of innovation is the development and integration of appropriate and easy-to-use sample preparation that is tailored to the target analyte, the specimen, and the diagnostic modality. A survey of key innovations in the field will be presented.