Paper-based device could lead to efficient lab-free infection test

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A researcher prepares for a test at a national key laboratory of silkworm genome biology in Southwest University, Chongqing municipality, May 31, 2017. (Photo by CFP)
(Photo by CFP)

Researchers have developed a new paper-based device that can help doctors identify infection and find the right treatment much faster than conventional lab test approach, according to a study released on Tuesday by the University of Southampton.

The new device, made using lasers, has three layers — a top layer containing four common antibiotics (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and nitrofurantoin) in confined rectangular areas, an absorbent paper in the middle and an agar gel-containing base layer, all sealed in a plastic casing.

By adding a liquid sample, such as urine, to this small device, doctors can find out if any bacteria are present in the sample and which of the four common antibiotics should be used, or if the infection is untreatable by these antibiotics.

This device could cut down on unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and help fight the growing threat of antibiotic resistance,” said Dr. Collin Sones from the University of Southampton, who led the study.

The study has been published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Enditem

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