New sensor may help combat drug resistance
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Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US have developed a sensor that can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic. It provides results in less than an hour.

The new sensing approach is based on a quartz-crystal resonator whose vibrations vary in measurable ways when particles on the surface change. The approach, which involves bacterial cells adhered to a resonator, represents a new way of using these super- sensitive crystals.

The sensor is piezoelectric, which means its dimensions change when exposed to an electric field. A thin piezoelectric quartz disk is sandwiched between two electrodes. An alternating voltage at a stable frequency near the crystals resonant frequency is applied to one electrode to excite crystal vibrations. From another electrode on the opposite side of the crystal, researchers record oscillating voltages of the crystal response, a signal that shows fluctuations in the resonant frequency (or frequency noise) arising from microbial mechanical activity coupled to the crystal surface.

This method may be more useful in clinical settings because it collects electronic data cost-effectively and, since it senses large bacterial colonies, can be macroscopic and robust...

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/new-sensor-may-help-combat-drug-resistance/1/1053752.html
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