• A Device for Rapid Diagnosis of Nosocomial Infections • MedicalExpo e-Magazine
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    A Device for Rapid Diagnosis of Nosocomial Infections

    A device for rapid diagnosis of nosocomial infections (Courtesy of MGH)

    A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been working on a portable device for rapidly identifying pathogens responsible for healthcare-related infections, a major problem that can lead to patient death. This new technology reduces identification time from several days to a matter of hours.

    Described in the journal Science Advances, the new technology allows a simple device to perform accurate genetic testing. It uses extracted bacterial RNA amplified via the polymerase chain reaction procedure.

    The material is loaded into a small plastic vial with built-in optical sensors. The sensors identify the optical signature of specific RNA sequences correlated to the presence of certain bacteria in a process called polarization anisotropy diagnostics (PAD).

    The system can display results on a tablet or smartphone. According to MGH, one day a single, unified device may be able to perform all the steps, from sample collection to output.

    About the Author

    Celia Sampol is a journalist with 13 years of experience in Paris, Brussels and Washington. She's now the editor-in-chief of MedicalExpo e-magazine.

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