July 9, 2021
The excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance, a serious challenge the global health industry is facing. To help preserve the effectiveness of current commercially available therapies, timely, accurate and user-friendly diagnostic tools are needed; advances in biosensing and microfluidics aim to address these limitations in conventional testing. First, we will explore a diagnostic device for the rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of hospital- and community-acquired bacterial infections. The approach relies on nanoparticle-mediated microfluidic capture and electrochemical detection of clinically relevant concentrations of bacteria directly from patient nasal swab specimens. Next, we will investigate an integrated and automated digital microfluidics platform for simultaneous real-time antibiotic susceptibility testing and bacterial identification via fluorescence detection. This versatile all-in-one instrument with a small footprint allows automation of assay steps for simple sample handling, which can be easily customized for the desired application, without device redesign. Altogether, these studies present novel tools to better diagnose bacterial infections.
Carine Nemr is a visiting assistant professor of chemistry at Harvey Mudd College. She completed her B.Sc in chemical biology at McMaster University in 2015 and her PhD in chemistry at the University of Toronto in 2021. Her graduate research is focused on the development of novel approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections.
Contact Carissa Saugstad for Zoom meeting information.