Bioelectrochemical sensor to detect antibiotic-resistant pathogens

Project: Monitored by Research Administration

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grant Program 2019-2021

Project Description

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen, which is a major cause of infection and mortality for patients affected by chronic illnesses.

Therapy is particularly challenging because PA form biofilms, whose polymeric matrix, composed by polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids makes it inherently resistant to antimicrobial and antibiotics. Inappropriate therapy readily selects multi-drug resistant strains, which results in extremely poor prognosis.Therefore, prompt diagnosis and therapy are paramount to improve patients’ survival rate. Generally, the diagnosis and the antibiotic sensitivity spectrum are available to clinicians 2 to 5 days after the specimen is sent for analysis. Bioelectrochemical detection of antibiotic-resistant strains is quantitative, can be extremely sensitive, with a detection limit of few hundreds cells/mL, thus allowing faster diagnosis and appropriate therapy decision and ultimately improving patient’s prognosis. In this project, we propose a novel bioelectrochemical approach for detection of antibiotic-resistant PA strains based on the variations (quenching or enhancement) of current output in active PA cultures exposed to oxidative electrode potential, following short-term exposure to several antibiotics commonly used in clinical practice.
Short titleDetect antibiotic-resistant pathogens
Effective start/end date1/31/1912/31/21


  • Biosensors
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Bioelectrochemistry


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