Detect dangerous bacteria in the blood faster

Prospect of improved protection against fatal infections?

Bacteria in our blood can cause deadly infections and diseases, so it is important to identify such bacteria as quickly as possible so that they can be treated effectively with medication. A newly developed device is able to detect dangerous bacteria in the blood quickly, easily and effectively.

In the current study by the Rochester Institute of Technology and Rutgers University – New Brunswick, the researchers developed a new device to detect harmful bacteria in our blood that can cause life-threatening infections. The results of the research work were published in the English language journal "ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces".

Dangerous bacteria must be identified as quickly as possible

When harmful bacteria accumulate in human blood, it can lead to fatal infections. This makes it particularly important that these bacteria are identified as quickly as possible in order to promptly initiate urgently needed treatment. For this purpose, engineers have now developed a tiny device that can quickly detect dangerous bacteria in the blood.

The right medication increases the chance of survival

The fastest possible identification of certain drug-resistant bacteria enables the right medication to be prescribed immediately, which contributes to an increased likelihood of survival, the researchers report.

Resistant bacteria pose a great danger

Drug-resistant bacteria (sometimes referred to as super-pathogens) pose a huge threat to public health. Every year, at least 700,000 people worldwide die from drug-resistant infections, including 230,000 deaths from multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis alone.

Ten million deaths a year from drug-resistant bacteria in the future?

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, this number could even rise to ten million deaths per year by 2050 if no action is taken, researchers from Rutgers University – New Brunswick report in a press release.

How does the new device work?

Based on a new approach, the tiny new device quickly isolates, removes and concentrates target bacteria from body fluids. It efficiently filters particles and bacteria and traps about 86 percent of them. The nanodevice has magnetic beads in different sizes. These are designed to concentrate and capture Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The small spaces between these beads are used to isolate the bacteria in the device.

Further research is already underway

The inexpensive, transparent device is easy to manufacture and operate. According to the study, it is ideal for the detection of disease-causing organisms in laboratory and health facilities. The research group is currently working on perfecting the new device. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Xinye Chen, Abbi Miller, Shengting Cao, Yu Gan, Jie Zhang et al .: Rapid Escherichia coli Trapping and Retrieval from Bodily Fluids via a Three-Dimensional Bead-Stacked Nanodevice, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (published Jan 15, 2020), ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
  • New Device Quickly Detects Harmful Bacteria in Blood, Rutgers University – New Brunswick, Rutgers University – New Brunswick
  • New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis, World Health Organization (published April 29, 2019), WHO

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