In a breakthrough, researchers from the Leibniz Institute of Technology in Germany have developed a device that can detect urinary tract infections within few minutes dramatically cutting down detection time.

Lead researcher Christian Schroder said that the technique identifies the two species namely Escherichia coli (more commonly known as E. coli) and Enterococcus faecalis that causes urinary tract infections which is also a prime cause of sepsis. He further added that the detection can be done within 70 minutes after getting the sample.

The achievement is a breakthrough as all previous methods took more than 24 hours for the detecting the disease and this new device tremendously fastens the procedure.

The device uses a modern optical detection method known as Raman microscopy. While explaining Schroder said that the technique uses already known centrifugal force to identify the presence of bacteria in patient’s urine sample. The device is microfluidic since it samples very small droplets.

How the device works?

The urine sample of the patient is loaded into a tiny chip. After that the chip is rotated at a very high angular velocity. Due to centrifugal force several entities of varying weights start accumulating at different levels and bacteria passes through microfluidic channels to a small chamber where ‘V-cup capture units’ collect it for optical investigation

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

It is an infection caused when bacteria get into urine and starts growing as it moves upward. Infection that starts at urethra, grows and affects urinary tract. The bacteria can affect bladder and if not treated early can affect kidney leading to kidney infection.

The study was published in journal Biomicrofluidics.

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