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Is That Bacteria Dead Yet? Nano and Laser Technology Packed Into Small Device Tests Antibiotic Treatment in Minutes

Researchers at EPFL have built a matchbox-sized device that can test for the presence of bacteria in a couple of minutes, instead of up to several weeks. A nano-lever vibrates in the presence of bacterial activity, while a laser reads the vibration and translates it into an electrical signal that can be easily read -- the absence of a signal signifies the absence of bacteria. Thanks to this method, it is quick and easy to determine if a bacteria has been effectively treated by an antibiotic, a crucial medical tool especially for resistant strains. Easily used in clinics, it could also prove useful for testing chemotherapy treatment.

The research is published in the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

"This method is fast and accurate. And it can be a precious tool for both doctors looking for the right dosage of antibiotics and for researchers to determine which treatments are the most effective," explains Giovanni Dietler.
 
 

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