A portable 3D printer system for the diagnosis and treatment of multidrug-resistant bacteria

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Glatzel, Stefan ; Hezwani, Mohammed ; Kitson, Philip J. ; Gromski, Piotr S. ; Schürer, Sophie ; Cronin, Leroy (2016)

Summary: Multidrug-resistant bacteria are a major threat to human health, but broad-spectrum\ud antibiotics are losing efficacy. There is a need to screen a given drug against\ud a bacterial infection outside of the laboratory. To address this need, we have designed\ud and built an inexpensive and easy-to-use 3D-printer-based system that\ud allows easily readable quantitative tests for the performance of antibacterial\ud drugs. The platform creates a sterile diagnostic device by using 3D printing,\ud and the device is filled automatically with growth medium, and then antibiotics\ud are sprayed onto the medium by ink-jet technology. The sample for testing can\ud be introduced via a fluid port, and the printer hot bed is used to incubate the device,\ud allowing operation in the field. Combining advantages from various established\ud tests of antibacterial performance, this allows the comparison of a specific\ud antibiotics and bacteria. Also, this system can create and test several antibiotic\ud formulations for therapeutic use, and we demonstrate this potential by investigating\ud a mixture of pathogens that are only killed by a mixture of drugs.
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