Direct antibiotic susceptibility tests (AST) are essential for rapid detection of bacterial infection and administration of appropriate antibiotics. Conventional AST systems are usually slow as they rely on cell growth for an indirect assessment of antibiotics’ effectiveness. Therefore, a faster method is desirable, especially for emergency cases. In this work, we studied the performance of label-free, droplet-based impedance sensors for rapid characterization of the effects of ampicillin (Amp) on Escherichia coli. Ampicillin damages cell wall integrity and makes cells permeable (leaky). The leakage results in significant increase of the electrical conductance measured directly by the microfabricated sensing unit. We studied the conductance signal as a function of both antibiotic treatment time and dosage and demonstrated susceptibility testing within 60 min. These findings demonstrate the potential of droplet-based electrical chips for the realization of electrical antibiotic susceptibility testing (e-AST) for early-stage diagnostic/treatment, and consequently, preventing antibiotic misuse/overuse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology