• 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

    Journalist for 13 years in Paris, Brussels and Washington, Celia Sampol is the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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