CFH2a Priming - Microelectronic integrated circuit biosensors for susceptibility testing

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


Drug resistant infections (DRI) have been identified as a major threat to public health worldwide. A key factor driving the increasing prevalence of DRI is the inappropriate use of antibiotics, both due to over prescription and incorrect choice of antimicrobial therapy. Ultimately, rational and targeted prescribing of antibiotics requires evidence-based diagnostics that can rapidly and accurately test antimicrobial susceptibility. The technology should be low cost and ideally portable for use by non-experts at point of care. This project will develop a bespoke silicon microchip that is capable of rapidly identifying resistance to β-lactam antibiotics. While we focus here on DRI, the electronic biosensor technology is generic and can be applied to a range of diagnostic challenges across healthcare.

Key findings

1. We have successfully synthesised a b-lactam with linker (here cephalexin modified with a PEG linker) suitable for surface immobilisation. Experiments show successful hydrolysis of the surface-bound drug by β-lactamases and confirmed the stability of the drug surface in the absence of these enzymes, even in urine.
2. Optimised assay for hydrolysis of the surface-bound drug by β-lactamases in low molarity buffer. This is critical in order to observe the pH change resulting from hydrolysis.
3. Microelectronic IC has been designed and currently being fabricated at external foundry.
Effective start/end date1/06/1830/06/19