Their proof-of-concept research, published today in the journal Nature Chemistry, specifically describes the test's effectiveness in diagnosing urinary tract infections from real clinical samples. The researchers are adapting the test to detect other forms of bacteria and for the rapid diagnosis of viruses, including COVID-19. They also plan to test its viability for detecting markers of cancer.
Existing practice typically requires sending samples to laboratories to be cultured (at quite a cost), a process that can take days. Providing immediate results to patients can reduce the spread of infection, improve patients' quality of life and simplify the work of busy clinicians.
See No lab required: New technology can diagnose infections in minutes
The idea of visiting the doctor's office with symptoms of an illness and leaving with a scientifically confirmed diagnosis is much closer to reality because of new technology developed by researchers at McMaster University.