A rapid, integrated, and simple diagnostic tool for MRSA screening.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a contagious and multi-drug resistant bacterial infection. The superbug is found in hospitals where many people congregate who might have open wounds, burns, feeding tubes, or other open areas which allow MRSA to enter the body. The increased length of stay in the hospital attributable to MRSA bacteremia – that is, when MRSA enters a patient’s bloodstream – is 14 days. Hospitals are well aware of the medical consequences, not to mention the heavy financial costs, if MRSA is not quickly identified and treated. The current diagnostic strategies used in centralized hospital laboratories do not meet this requirement since they take hours to days before a diagnosis is determined. To this end, the McGill Bioengineering students who founded MinutesFluidics aim to develop a microfluidic platform that performs an expeditious, reliable, and automated diagnosis.
Our product is a microfluidic device which screens admitted hospital patients for MRSA. We call it MinutesToMRSA. Imagine a world where a nurse can perform an automated diagnostic test at the point of care (at the patient’s bedside) and retrieve results within minutes. Getting this product from ideation to widespread use in hospitals is an example of High-Throughput Screening and Diagnostics Engineering: we identified a clinical need, we proposed a viable solution which will improve healthcare outcomes, and we embark on this project to design the product. We expect the following outcomes when our product is available: Hospital staff will have an easier time micromanaging both patients and isolated rooms and they will be able to make more informed decisions about using the antibiotic vancomycin. Hospital administrators will spend less money on vancomycin and on controlling outbreaks. Patients will appreciate that their practitioners can make timely and informed decisions on how to proceed with their treatment.