Transforming the industry
with cutting-edge technology
Industry standard practice employs a blood culture bottle that simply detects the presence of bacteria with an embedded indicator sensitive to CO
2, a metabolic byproduct of bacterial growth. Bacteria, if present, release increasing amounts of CO
2 as their population expands, triggering a change in indicator color that is reported as a positive test result. These systems can only indicate the presence or absence of bacteria, with no information regarding ID.
™ sensor identifies microorganisms by the unique pattern of small volatile metabolites produced as they grow in culture.
The Specific ™ sensor array system
This novel, proprietary, high-dimensional sensor array system detects low (part per billion) concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in very complex mixtures. The high-dimensional printed array of color-active chemical indicators embedded in a nanoporous matrix has distinct chemical reactivity with volatile species and changes color differently upon exposure to different VOCs and VOC mixtures.
Each of the array of over 70 indicators very sensitively changes color, creating a high-dimensional and specific fingerprint allowing identification of the species or mixture presented. Because the reactive indicators are highly diverse chemically, a very wide range of chemical species can be selectively detected. Placed in a culture, the resulting pattern of color changes comprises a high-dimensional fingerprint of the cell type for bacteria species and strain.
Breakthrough technology for rapid results
The sensor is inexpensive, and disposable. The technology is perfectly suited to the technical challenge of recognizing a complex pattern of emitted VOCs and to the unmet clinical need for rapid and inexpensive cell identification.
A recent breakthrough material and new classes of sensors have improved sensitivity and significantly increased dimensionality. The ability to identify the signature of complex mixtures proves crucial for the assessment of cell metabolism. Each cell produces a signature pattern composed of dozens of out-gassed VOCs, the entire pattern being the recognizable signature.
Common microbiology diagnostics require lengthy culture growth followed by laborious and expensive chemical or molecular analysis. The Specific system identifies bacteria during culture growth eliminating the delay and expense of additional chemical and molecular tests. Further, the ability to identify species and strain provides a triage for determining when to employ rapid molecular resistance tests.
An ongoing study at Stanford University of now over 3000 cultures including more than 20 species and 50 strains has shown identification accuracy of 95%.