Rutgers senior biomedical engineering students (from left to right): Sudeepti Vedula, Charles Rabolli, Neel Nirgudkar and Sarah Salter.
Credit: Don Hamerman

Antibiotic overuse

Could a paper device diagnose infectious disease?

Imagine a small paper device that can rapidly reveal from a drop of blood whether an infection is bacterial or viral. The device could help reduce the overuse of antibiotics – which kill bacteria, not viruses. Misuse of antibiotics has led to antimicrobial resistance, a growing global public health issue.

Senior biomedical engineering students at Rutgers University–New Brunswick came up with the idea for the technology as part of their senior design project. The concept won second place and $50,000 in the Massachusetts General Hospital Ambulatory Practice of the Future 2017 Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare competition. The Rutgers team, including seniors Charles Rabolli, Neel Nirgudkar, Sarah Salter and Sudeepti Vedula, is advised by Adam J. Gormley, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering.

It’s time to put it to the test and see if we can make a diagnostic that can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections

Adam J. Gormley

“We feel so honored to be given the opportunity with this award to flesh out an idea that we think will have great global health implications,” said Salter, who like her fellow teammates plans to pursue a medical degree. “As we begin to plan our next steps, we appreciate the support we’ve received along the way from Professor Gormley and the wider Rutgers community.” The annual competition for student innovations recognizes the most promising technology that could improve primary-care delivery at the front lines of medicine. The Rutgers–New Brunswick group was among five finalist teams selected last year to submit more detailed proposals with an eye toward efficiency, cost-effectiveness, improving the patient experience, increased career satisfaction for primary-care teams and better long-term outcomes.

The Rutgers team enhanced their final proposal with input from faculty members, including School of Engineering Dean Thomas Farris, Stephen K. Burley (Center for Integrative Proteomics Research), and Richard Marlink (Global Health Institute), along with Rutgers Health and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School physicians Tanaya Bhowmick (infectious diseases) and Alfred F. Tallia (family medicine and community health). The group was also invited to participate in a Rutgers Global Health Forum event with a delegation from Namibia. “I am so proud of this group and their great success,” Gormley said. “And now, with this win, it’s time to put it to the test and see if we can make a diagnostic that can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections.”

Source: Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Read all latest stories

Related articles

Antimicrobial stewardship

A diagnostic marker reduces antibiotics use

Since 2009, as part of diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship strategies, Hampshire Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust has used serum procalcitonin (PCT) – an innovative and highly…

Alarming results

Antibiotic resistance spreads faster than previously thought

By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by…

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Biomarker is discovered for a flesh-eating pathogen

Imagine a pathogen that infects completely healthy people and can cause blindness in one day and flesh-eating infections, brain abscesses and death in just a few days. Now imagine that this pathogen…

Related products

Infectious diseases testing

Atlas Genetics - Atlas Genetics io system

Atlas Genetics Ltd

Clinical chemistry

DiaSys Diagnostic Systems - InnovaStar

DiaSys Diagnostic Systems GmbH

Research use only (RUO)

Eppendorf - Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG

Mobile RIS/PACS viewer

IMAGE Information Systems - iQ-4VIEW

IMAGE Information Systems Europe GmbH

Research use only (RUO)

SARSTEDT - Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes


Research use only (RUO)

Shimadzu - CLAM-2000

Shimadzu Europa GmbH