The diagnosis of a disease with a scientific explanation at a doctor’s diseases is close to reality thanks to a new technology developed by a team of researchers at McMaster University. Medical biochemistry, and engineering researchers across the university have put together their competencies to develop a hand-held rapid test for bacterial infections. The tests is distinguishable to produce precise, reliable results within one hour, thus eliminating the need to send samples to a laboratory.
Meanwhile, proof-of-concept of the research describes the efficacy of the test to specifically diagnose urinary tract infections on the basis of real clinical samples. The PoC of the study is published in Nature Chemistry. Importantly, the researchers are working on to adapt the test for other forms of bacteria and for the rapid diagnosis of viruses including COVID-19. Furthermore, researchers have plan to investigate the viability of the test for detecting cancer markers.
“This suggests patients will receive improved treatment, faster results, and avoid severe complications. The use of antibiotics that is not required, and can help to buy time in the fight against antimicrobial resistance is likely to be avoided using the test,” stated the co-corresponding author of the study.
In fact, this will provide doctors the science to support what is already suspected based on their skills and experience.
Elaborating on the test, the technology is based on DNA and is similar to a blood glucose monitor. The microchip of the handheld device analyzes a droplet of bodily fluid such as urine, blood, or saliva using molecules that can identify the specific protein signature of an infection. The size of the device is about that of a USB stick, can be plugged into a smartphone to display the result.