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Resistell’s rapid AST diagnostic method is based on the detection of movement caused by living bacterial cells. We use cantilevers, also used in Atomic Force Microscopy, as sensors. Our device is much simpler and cheaper than commercial AFM because all optics have been removed.

Living bacteria cause the cantilevers’ oscillations, which can be detected by our device. When antibiotic is added, bacteria react and the cantilever’s vibrations return to the level of an abiotic sample (a sample without bacteria) within minutes.

Laser and photodiode are used to detect the cantilever’s movement. The custom made software is used to process the signal and classify the strain as susceptible or resistant.

The technology was developed by Laboratory of Physics of Living Matter (LPMV) led by Prof. Giovanni Dietler at EPFL.

Key publications:

A. Mustazzolu, L. Venturelli, S. Dinarelli, K. Brown, R. A. Floto, G. Dietler, L. Fattorini, S. Kasas, M. Girasole and G. Longo. A rapid unraveling of the activity and antibiotic susceptibility of Mycobacteria. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 63, 3, 2019.

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M.I. Villalba, P. Stupar, W. Chomicki, M. Bertacchi, G. Dietler, L. Arnal, M.E. Vela, O. Yantorno and S. Kasas. Nanomotion detection method for testing antibiotic resistance and susceptibility of slow-growing bacteria. Small 14, 1702671, 2018.

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P. Stupar, O. Opota, G. Longo, G. Prod'Hom, G. Dietler, G. Greub and S. Kasas. Nanomechanical sensor applied to blood culture pellets: a fast approach to determine the antibiotic susceptibility against agents of bloodstream infections, Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 23, 400-405, 2017.

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S. Kasas, F. S. Ruggeri, C. Benadiba, C. Maillard, P. Stupar, H. Tournu, G. Dietler and G.Longo. Detecting nanoscale vibrations as signature of life, PNAS, 112, 378-381, 2015.

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G. Longo, L. Alonso-Sarduy, L. Marques Rio, A. Bizzini, A. Trampuz, J. Notz, G. Dietler and S. Kasas. Rapid detection of bacterial resistance to antibiotics using AFM cantilevers as nanomechanical sensors. Nature Nanotechnology 8, 522–526, 2013.

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