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­CLA Researchers Combat Antimicrobial Resistance ­sing Smartphones

By ­CLA Newsroom

December 22, 2016

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New technology from a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) research team could help combat the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

The team has developed an inexpensive attachment for smartphones that can perform automated antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The device has a plate that can hold up to 96 wells for testing. A sample is illuminated by an array of light-emitting diodes and then the phone's camera is used to sense small changes in light transmission of each well containing a different dose selected from a panel of antibiotics. Images are sent to a server to automatically perform testing and the results are returned to the smartphone in about one minute.

During a test targeting Klebsiella pneumoniae, the mobile reader met the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-defined criteria for laboratory testing, with a detection accuracy of 98.2%.

The technology could be particularly useful in areas that have limited resources. "This mobile reader could eliminate the need for trained diagnosticians to perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing, reduce the cost barrier for routine testing, and assist in tracking of bacterial resistance globally," says UCLA professor Omai Garner.

From UCLA Newsroom
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