Researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK have developed two new medical devices to fight against antibiotic resistance by preventing the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
The device by the university’s spinout Linear Diagnostics is designed to test for bacteria and antibiotic resistance with a single sample, while the GFC Diagnostics’ device, Safetube, uses a test to identify antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria.
Both the devices have been selected for the Longitude Prize competition and will be presented at the ‘Superbugs: The Fight For Our Lives’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London.
Launched in 2014, the competition provides £10m funding for an affordable, accurate, fast and easy-to-use diagnostic test that would help save antibiotics for future generations.
The Linear Diagnostics’ device is developed to use polarised light for measuring the alignment of detector molecules, which are known to lose alignment upon attachment to a target such as bacteria or antibiotic resistance genes from the bacteria.
Intended to aid early diagnosis, the device will check the prescribed antibiotic to ensure that the medicine is not resistant to the bacteria.
The device is expected to be trialled next year as an anti-microbial resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs) detector at hospitals and general practitioner (GP) surgeries in the country.
GFC’s Safetube uses the firm’s DNA hybridisation technology, Microscreen, for quick detection of the bacterial genes associated with the resistance to antibiotics.
Scheduled to be evaluated on clinical samples next month, the device’s end result is a colour change, making it suitable for use in various situations.