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    In the face of the global threat from drug-resistant superbugs, there remains an unmet need for simple and accessible diagnostic tools that can perform important antibiotic susceptibility testing against pathogenic bacteria and guide antibiotic treatments outside of centralized clinical laboratories. As a potential solution to this important problem, we report herein the development of a microwell array-based resazurin-aided colorimetric antibiotic susceptibility test (marcAST). At the core of marcAST is a ready-to-use microwell array device that is preassembled with custom titers of various antibiotics and splits bacterial samples upon a simple syringe injection step to initiate AST against all antibiotics. We also employ resazurin, which changes from blue to pink in the presence of growing bacteria, to accelerate and enable colorimetric readout in our AST. Even with its simplicity, marcAST can accurately measure the minimum inhibitory concentrations of reference bacterial strains against common antibiotics and categorize the antibiotic susceptibilities of clinically isolated bacteria. With more characterization and refinement, we envision that marcAST can become a potentially useful tool for performing AST without trained personnel, laborious procedures, or bulky instruments, thereby decentralizing this important test for combating drug-resistant superbugs.


    Fan-En Chen, Aniruddha Kaushik, Kuangwen Hsieh, Emily Chang, Liben Chen, Pengfei Zhang, Tza-Huei Wang. Toward Decentralizing Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing via Ready-to-Use Microwell Array and Resazurin-Aided Colorimetric Readout. Analytical chemistry. 2021 Jan 26;93(3):1260-1265

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    PMID: 33372757

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