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POST TIME: 8 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Device developed to detect bacteria in minutes
AFP, Washington

Device developed to detect bacteria in minutes

The era of doctors prescribing patients powerful antibiotics while they wait for lab reports could soon be numbered, with a new device returning results within minutes instead of days. It was invented by a team at Penn State university and described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

Co-developed by Pak Kin Wong, a professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, the device uses microtechnology to trap single bacteria cells that can then be viewed under an electron microscope.

The approach allows clinicians to determine in as little as 30 minutes whether bacteria is present and its susceptibility to drug treatment -- as opposed to the three-to-five days such lab work currently takes.

"We currently prescribe antibiotics even when there is no bacteria present," Wong told AFP.