A new way of detecting bacteria allows you to study pathogens at the very site of infection

Traditional methods of detecting bacteria require the collection and analysis of tissue samples. Scientists hope

Eliminate the need to take samples by using tiny optical sensors to visualize pathogens at the site of infection.

The sensors are based on modified carbonnanotubes less than one nanometer in diameter. When exposed to visible light, they emit near infrared light. The wavelength in this case is 1000 nanometers or more. The fluorescent light changes when nanotubes collide with certain molecules. Since bacteria release a characteristic mixture of molecules, the light emitted from the sensors indicates the presence of certain pathogens.

In the future, this study will form the basis foroptical detection of infections on smart implants, since sampling is no longer required. This will allow quick detection of a healing process or possible infection, leading to better patient care, the scientists explain. For example, more rapid diagnosis of sepsis in blood cultures is possible.

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