A match-box sized device that can detect the presence of harmful bacteria in a patient within a few minutes rather than hours or days has been developed by a team of Swiss researchers, a new study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology reveals.
Researchers at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) revealed that their device makes use of a tiny lever, which is slightly thicker than human hair and which vibrates in the presence of bacterial activity.
This vibration is then detected by a laser which is displayed on the monitor in form of an electrical signal similar to an ECG. The researchers said that the device is able to detect the presence of bacteria within a couple of minutes instead of hours or days that it takes for some of the conventional laboratory methods.
"This method is fast and accurate. It can be a precious tool for both doctors looking for the right dosage of antibiotics and for researchers to determine which treatments are the most effective", lead researcher Dr Giovanni Dietler said.