Point-of-Care (POC) devices for bedside diagnosis of bacteremia and neonatal sepsis

Bacterial infections affect more than 2 million people worldwide annually. Of these, systemic bacterial infections in critically-ill patients often lead to life-threatening conditions such as sepsis. The currently available methods for bacterial typing and species identification take several days to weeks to get final results making them ineffectual for early diagnosis of bacterial septicemia. Bacterial cultures also suffer from poor sensitivity due to low cell counts(in blood) and due to any prior antibiotic treatment.

SeptifloTM is a patented technology and first-ever point-of-care device developed jointly by Dr. Shalini Gupta’s group in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at IIT Delhi and Global Medical Education & Research Foundation (GMERF) Hyderabad for detecting Gram-specific bacterial biomarkers in human plasma under 10 min (from sample collection to outcome). It combines the specificity of culture and the sensitivity of PCR and is more cost-effective than either of these two approaches.

The final results appear as colorimetric spots on a membrane that can be interpreted as low or high infection in a semi-quantitative format with or without an optical reader. This information is of immense value in rapid decision-making for the selection of bacterial Gram-specific narrow spectrum antibiotics, and thus, in reducing drug resistance and sepsis-related mortalities in a clinical setting.

SeptifloTM is now undergoing extensive clinical validation and scale-up in collaboration with NanoDx Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (TBIU, IIT Delhi), Maulana Azad Medical College(New Delhi), Healthcare Technology and Innovation Centre (IIT Madras Research Park) and Advanced Microdevices Pvt. Ltd. (Ambala), and is funded generously by BIRAC, IMPRINT and Nanomission grants.

9th March 2020