A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine reveals that researchers at T2 Biosystems in Lexington, Massachusetts, have developed a new portable device to detect a fatal fungal bloodstream infection.
The researchers said that long detection time needed for Candida, a sepsis-causing fungus, results in approximately 40 percent mortality rate. The new device is based on T2 magnetic resonance (T2MR) and makes use of blood-compatible polymerase chain reaction to amplify Candida DNA from human whole blood.
This DNA then binds with nanoparticles that have been coated with a complementary DNA probe and yields nanoparticle clusters, which then change the sample's T2MR signal. The researchers added that the device can detect the presence of one colony-forming unit of five Candida species within three hours.
"This study shows that the nanoparticle- and T2MR-based detection method is rapid and amenable to automation and offers clinicians the opportunity to detect and identify multiple human pathogens within hours of sample collection", lead researcher Lori Neely said.