The broad, long-term objective of the proposed project """"""""Electrical System for Rapid Bacterial Cultures"""""""" is to develop an automated electrical impedance analyzer for measuring bacterial growth in contaminated blood. The purpose of the System is to hasten the time to diagnose sepsis from 1-2 days down to a few hours.
The specific aims of the project are to (1) build an agitated culture system that can be sampled automatically every 10-15 minutes, (2) build a dedicated electronics package that performs the desired electrical (impedance) measurements, and (3) combine these devices to test the System's ability to automatically and rapidly measure bacterial growth in blood samples. The proposed System will accommodate only one culture at a time, whereas clinical laboratories will require that 10's of samples be analyzed simultaneously;therefore, the final specific aim will be to (4) prepare a design for a clinical version of the System capable of simultaneously measuring bacterial growth in multiple blood sample cultures. The outcome of this research is expected to be a drastically reduced time (factor of 4 - 10) required to identify sepsis and sepsis organisms in the clinical laboratory thereby averting hundreds of hospital-based deaths annually.
Hospitalized patients often fear an incident of sepsis (bacterial infection of the blood), which is too frequently fatal. A significant factor in sepsis recovery is the rate at which the disease state can be properly identified. Techshot and colleagues at the University of Missouri have proposed an electrical measurement device that can detect bacterial growth in blood in a few hours, rather than the 1 or 2 days currently (which is sometimes too late).