Portable TB Detector

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 11 June 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Communications/Nature Publishing Group
thumbnail image: Portable TB Detector

Ralph Weissleder, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and colleagues have built on earlier work in handheld cancer detection systems using microfluidics to develop a related device that can quickly and easily detect pathogenic bacteria. The device can detect worrying strains that have developed resistance to common antibiotics, such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB).

The team describes the system as "sensitive and robust" and emphasizes that it requires no bacterial isolation or culture growth to work, thus allowing rapid diagnostics to be carried out. The detector uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified mycobacterial genes. These are sequence-specifically tagged by magnetically-labeled microspheres. NMR spectroscopy is used as the detector for the tagged genes and the whole system is integrated on a small microfluidic cartridge, which is not much bigger than a standard laboratory microscope slide. A sputum sample from a patient suspected of being infected with TB is all that is needed and analysis takes a mere 2.5 hours. The presence of genes from other microbes does not interfere with detection of TB.

Also of interest:

Article Views: 2932

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)published by Wiley-VCH