Researchers Develop Electrochemical Method to Efficiently Detect Infections

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Researchers from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) developed a new method to detect an infection.

Infections in patients are detected by using a strip as conventional method. The color of the strip changes when inserted in infected fluids. However, the method is inaccurate as it is based on the hue and deepness of a color. Most of the samples cannot be tested as they contain blood or are too opaque. Microbiological processes used for identifying infection are slow and require trained personnel. Waldemar Gorski, an Analytical chemist and Stanton McHardy, a medicinal chemist of UTSA devised a new method to quickly and accurately detect whether a person has been infected with harmful bacteria or other pathogens.

The new method devised by the both the researchers uses electrochemical approach. The team created new molecules to bind with leukocyte enzymes, released by the immune system in response of an infection. Mounted on a testing strip, these molecules produced an electric current to warn the presence of an infection. The readings of the electrochemical responses in the computer demonstrated the severity of an infection.

The signs and symptoms demonstrated in color strip method is not always reflective of the level of the infection.  However, the new method is convenient in measuring the seriousness of an infection. The much quicker diagnosis prevents possible serious illness. Patients who have undergone a surgery can easily determine whether they have acquired an infection due to the surgery before it worsens. Waldemar Gorski and Stanton McHardy have filed a patent for their invention. Their study was published in Science Daily on June 12, 2018.

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