Sensor will help to keep antibiotic level stable in severely ill
Physicians need to keep the antibiotics level within a personalized therapeutic range for patients suffering severe infections, at the risk of threats such as sepsis and organ failure or even the death of the patient. Inadequate administration of antibiotics could allow bacteria to mutate so that the medicines no longer work: they become resistant. “Rapid monitoring of antibiotic levels would be a huge advantage in hospital,” says Ates, “it might be possible to fit the method into a conventional face mask.” In another project at the University of Freiburg, Dincer is developing wearable paper sensors for the continuous measurement of biomarkers from exhaled breath. Clinical trials to validate the antibiotic biosensor by testing the system with human samples are planned.
Bacterial proteins as sensor
The microfluidic biosensor bears proteins that can recognize beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin, affixed to a polymer film. Antibiotic of interest in the sample and an enzyme-coupled beta-lactam are in competition to bind these bacterial proteins. This competition generates a current change – like in a battery: the more antibiotic there is present in the sample, the less enzyme product develops, which leads to a lower measurable current. The process is based on a natural receptor protein that resistant bacteria uses to detect the antibiotics that threatens them. “You could say we are beating the bacteria at their own game,” Weber says of the process developed by his group.
Several other researchers at the University of Freiburg were involved in this interdisciplinary study: Prof. Dr. Gerald Urban from the Laboratory for Sensors at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), Prof. Dr. Maja Banks-Köhn from the BIOSS and CIBSS Centers for Biological Signaling Studies, and Prof. Dr. Stefan Schumann from the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Medical Center – University of Freiburg.
Ates, H.C., Mohsenin, H., Wenzel, C., Glatz, R., Wagner, H.J., Bruch, R., Höfflin, N., Spassov, S., Streicher, L., Lozano-Zahonero, S., Flamm, B., Trittler, R., Hug, M.J., Köhn, M., Schmidt, J., Schumann, S., Urban, G.A., Weber, W., Dincer, C. (2021): Biosensor-enabled multiplexed on-site therapeutic drug monitoring of antibiotics. In: Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.202104555
Originally posted on www.uni-freiburg.de