The University of California at Irvine www.uci.edu research team will receive up to $5 million to further develop a bloodstream infection detection system that will speed up diagnosis times with unprecedented accuracy. This will allow physicians to treat patients with potentially deadly ailments more promptly and effectively.
Bloodstream infections are a major cause of illness and death as infections associated with antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are a growing health problem worldwide. According to the CDC, more than 2 million people a year in the U.S. get antibiotic resistant blood infections causing about 23,000 deaths.
The five year award is part of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) www.niaid.nih.gov program that is funding nine institutions to create tools to identify certain pathogens that frequently cause infections in healthcare settings.
The UCI effort will use the Integrated Comprehensive Droplet Digital Detection (IC-3D) system. In as little as 90 minutes, this system can detect bacteria in milliliters of blood with single cell sensitivity which means that no cell culture is needed.
The IC-3D technology differs from other diagnostic techniques in that it converts blood samples directly into billions of very small droplets. Fluorescent DNA sensor solution infused into the droplets detects those with bacterial markers and then lights them up with an intense fluorescent signal.
A patent application has been filed by the University of California for the IC 3D technology which has been optioned by Velox Biosystems www.veloxbio.com, a startup company founded by Zhao to commercialize the product.
The research team will also work with partners that includes ISS Inc. http://issgmt.com, Dolomite Microfluidics www.dolomite-microfluidics.com, and BioVenture Services LLC to further develop, validate the IC 3D system and then modify the product to receive future clinical approval.