ANN ARBOR, Mich.---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.
The device, called an asynchronous magnetic bead rotation (AMBR) sensor, was invented in Kopelman's lab at U-M. Early development of the sensor, also in the Kopelman lab, was primarily the work of Brandon McNaughton, who was a graduate student at the time. McNaughton went on to found the U-M spinoff Life Magnetics Inc., where as chief technological officer he is further developing the device.
The AMBR sensor uses a spherical, magnetic bead that asynchronously spins in a magnetic field. Just as a pencil attached to a child's toy top creates drag that affects the way the top spins, anything attached to the bead slows its rate of rotation. In the current work, the researchers attached individual, rod-shaped Escherichia coli bacteria to individual beads and watched what happened, u
|Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan|
University of Michigan