With antimicrobial resistance becoming a major threat to healthcare settings around the world, there is a paramount need for rapid point-of-care antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) diagnostics. Unfortunately, most currently available clinical AST tools are lengthy, laborious, or are simply inappropriate for point-of-care testing. Herein, we design a 3D-printed microfluidic gradient generator that automatically produces two-fold dilution series of clinically relevant antimicrobials. We first establish the compatibility of these generators for classical AST (i.e., broth microdilution) and then extend their application to include a complete on-chip label-free and phenotypic AST. This is accomplished by the integration of photonic silicon chips, which provide a preferential surface for microbial colonization and allow optical tracking of bacterial behavior and growth at a solid-liquid interface in real-time by phase shift reflectometric interference spectroscopic measurements (PRISM). Using Escherichia coli and ciprofloxacin as a model pathogen-drug combination, we successfully determine the minimum inhibitory concentration within less than 90 minutes. This gradient generator-based PRISM assay provides an integrated AST device that is viable for convenient point-of-care testing and offers a promising and most importantly, rapid alternative to current clinical practices, which extend to 8-24 h.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering