In military medicine, one of the challenges in dealing with large combat-related injuries is the prevalence of bacterial infection, including multidrug resistant organisms. This can prolong the wound healing process and lead to wound dehiscence. Current methods of identifying bacterial infection rely on culturing microbes from patient material and performing biochemical tests, which together can take 2-3 days to complete. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful vibrational spectroscopy technique that allows for highly sensitive structural detection of analytes adsorbed onto specially prepared metal surfaces. In the past, we have been able to discriminate between bacterial isolates grown on solid culture media using standard Raman spectroscopic methods. Here, SERS is utilized to assess the presence of bacteria in wound effluent samples taken directly from patients. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt for the application of SERS directly to wound effluent. The utilization of SERS as a point-of-care diagnostic tool would enable physicians to determine course of treatment and drug administration in a matter of hours.
Meron Ghebremedhin, Shubha Yesupriya, and Nicole J. Crane, "Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy as a point-of-care diagnostic for infection in wound effluent," Proc. SPIE 9715, Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XVI: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics, 97150B (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 4 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212667.
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