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Southampton Experts to Trial 'instant' Test For Eye Infections


The new microchip.

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. worked with ophthalmologists and molecular microbiologists to design a microchip that can quickly identify serious eye infections and prevent antibiotic misuse.

Credit: University of Southampton

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. say they have co-designed a microchip with ophthalmologists and molecular microbiologists that can quickly identify serious eye infections and prevent antibiotic misuse by analyzing bacteria from laboratory-infected tissue samples.

The team found that measuring the electrical signals of single bacteria as they pass one by one between electrodes at high speed can instantly indicate the presence of an infection and differentiate between bacteria.

"It could have widespread applications, particularly given the current challenges we face in tackling overuse of antibiotics," notes Southampton professor Hywel Morgan.

The researchers in November are scheduled to test the microchip in a pilot study involving 30 patients presenting with corneal infections.

The team also wants to test its technique in Africa and South Asia as part of a study using connections developed with Southampton General Hospital's eye unit via overseas programs.

From University of Southampton
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