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Rapid Concentration of Bacteria Using Microfluidic Magnetic Ratcheting


Rapid identification and treatment of infectious agents is an essential part of the treatment plan that is provided in the care of those patients who have an infection. This allows the reduction in hospital length of stay, cost of care, and ultimately results in better care given to hospitalized patients. In addition, the rapid identification of resistant bacterial species has been identified as a national priority. At this time, there are various mechanisms used to identify infectious agents. These mechanisms include culture with biochemical phenotypic methods in order to identify organisms that preferentially metabolize different substrates. However, the length of time for recovering infectious agents by the use of culturing is often lengthened due to the presence of fastidious organisms or the presence of antimicrobials that are frequently given empirically to patients. In addition, these factors often impede the recovery of infectious agents.

In this project, I use a combination of modalities, including centrifugation with filtration and microfluidics, to address the need for rapid identification of bloodstream infection. These methods are applied to formulate a technique that can be used to rapidly separate and enrich bacteria present within a suspension of fluid. This technique can be used for the purpose of identifying bacteria that cause bloodstream infection. In this case, using Staphylococcus aureus as a prototype organism, I present a system that can be used to rapidly separate and enrich bacteria by using a magnetic ratcheting on a microfluidic chip.

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