Thermo-plasmonic preconcentration of bacteria from blood samples for rapid point-of-care analysis

Hao Wang, Robert Brozozowski, Prahathees Eswara, Anna Pyayt
University of South Florida, Florida, United States

Keywords: Treatment of sepsis, drug resistant bacteria

Bacterial infections are prevalent and result in high risk to military personnel, especially after combat traumas, exposure to unknown diseases, or subsequent to surgical interventions. In addition to that, sepsis that might develop as a result of bacterial infection, has very high mortality rate. Currently, in the United States alone, one million patients per year develop severe sepsis, and between 28 and 50% of them die from it (it results in more deaths than from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined). The only way to save the patient is timely administration of the right antibiotic. This requires a new point-of-care device that can both isolate pathogens and rapidly perform antibiotic susceptibility testing, something that is impossible using current technologies. Two fundamental challenges are the following: 1) efficient isolation of bacteria from biological samples because of a very low concentration of bacteria, especially during the initial phase of sepsis when the disease is curable; and 2) identification of an appropriate antibiotic for which the bacteria have not developed resistance.