We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Technopath Clinical Diagnostics - An LGC Company

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Laser Light Method Uses AI-Assisted Imaging to Identify Bacteria in Fluids

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Mar 2023
Print article
Image: Details of the printed dots on a gold-coated slide (Photo courtesy of Stanford University)
Image: Details of the printed dots on a gold-coated slide (Photo courtesy of Stanford University)

The commonly used traditional culturing techniques often require several hours or even days for completion. Now, a revolutionary approach promises to deliver faster, more precise, and cost-effective microbial assays of almost any fluid one wishes to test for microbes in an instant.

Scientists at Stanford University (Stanford, CA, USA) have created an innovative adaptation of the technology in an old inkjet printer and combined it with AI-assisted imaging to develop a faster, cheaper way to spot bacteria in blood, wastewater, and more. The method involves shining a laser on a drop of blood, mucus, or wastewater, and then using the light reflecting back to positively identify bacteria in the sample. The new test can be carried out within minutes and offers hope for improved and rapid detection of infections, more effective utilization of antibiotics, safer food products, enhanced environmental surveillance, and speedier drug development processes.

The novelty of this discovery lies not in the fact that bacteria possess unique spectral fingerprints, which has been established for years, but rather in how the research team has managed to extract these spectra amidst the blinding array of light emanating from every sample. A single milliliter of blood can contain billions of cells, merely a tiny fraction of which may be microbes. Therefore, the challenge was to identify a way to exclusively distinguish and amplify the light emanating just from the bacteria. The team pursued different scientific approaches, blending a decades-old computing technology - the inkjet printer - with two of the most advanced technologies of our times - artificial intelligence and nanoparticles.

The researchers found a solution to the difficulties of handling biological samples by modifying the printer to use acoustic pulses in order to put samples to paper. This method results in each printed blood dot being just two trillionths of a liter in volume, making them incredibly small - over a billion times smaller than a raindrop. Due to their tiny size, these droplets may contain just a few dozen cells. To enhance the bacteria detection process, the researchers infused the samples with gold nanorods, which act like antennas that draw laser light towards any present bacteria and amplify the signal to 1500 times its original strength. With appropriate isolation and amplification, the bacterial spectra clearly stand out for identification. The researchers also utilized machine learning to analyze the spectra of each printed dot and identify any telltale signatures of bacteria in the sample.

“We can find out not just that bacteria are present, but specifically which bacteria are in the sample – E. coli, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Salmonella, anthrax, and more,” said Jennifer Dionne, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and, by courtesy, of radiology at Stanford University. “Every microbe has its own unique optical fingerprint. It’s like the genetic and proteomic code scribbled in light.”

Related Links:
Stanford University

Gold Supplier
D-Dimer Rapid Test
Syphilis Rapid Test
ACON Syphilis Rapid Test
Gold Supplier
CLIA Processor
PCR Automatic Hybridization System
HybriSpot 12 Auto

Print article


Clinical Chem.

view channel
Image: Brief schematic diagram of the detection principle and method (Photo courtesy of CAS)

Rapid, Non-Invasive Method Diagnoses Type 2 Diabetes by Sniffing Urinary Acetone

Over 90% of diabetes cases are attributed to Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a prevalent metabolic condition that is expected to impact 380 million individuals globally by 2025. Despite being highly accurate, the... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: The new assay enables accurate prognosis and detection data for those prone to esophageal cancer (Photo courtesy of Previse)

First-of-Its-Kind Test Helps Determine Future Risk of Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is among the most lethal cancers in the world and has a 20% five-year survival rate post-diagnosis. Barrett's esophagus is the sole precursor known and is a significant risk factor for... Read more


view channel
Image: A genetic test could guide the use of cancer chemotherapy (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Genetic Test Predicts Whether Bowel Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Chemotherapy

Late-stage bowel cancer patients usually undergo a series of chemotherapies and targeted medicines for cancer treatment. However, the responses to the last-line chemotherapy treatment trifluridine/tipiracil... Read more


view channel
Image: Artificial intelligence predicts genetics of cancerous brain tumors in under 90 seconds (Photo courtesy of Michigan Medicine)

AI-Based Diagnostic Screening System Predicts Genetics of Cancerous Brain Tumors in 90 Seconds

The diagnosis and treatment of gliomas increasingly rely on molecular classification, as surgical benefits and risks vary depending on a patient's genetic makeup. Complete removal of the tumor can extend... Read more


view channel
Image: Live view of non-fluorescent specimens using the glowscope frame (Photo courtesy of Winona State University)

Device Converts Smartphone into Fluorescence Microscope for Just USD 50

Fluorescence microscopes are utilized to examine specimens labeled with fluorescent stains or expressing fluorescent proteins, like those tagged with green fluorescent protein. However, since these microscopes... Read more


view channel
Image: Roche and Lilly will collaborate on the development of Roche Diagnostics’ Elecsys Amyloid Plasma Panel (Photo courtesy of Roche)

Roche and Eli Lilly Collaborate on Innovative Blood Test for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's

Presently, obstacles to timely and precise diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease exist globally, resulting in as many as 75% of individuals exhibiting symptoms but lacking a formal diagnosis.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.