Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Abstract: Automated Microorganism Detector

Pelham Keahey, Will Hardy, Mason Cradit, Andrea Holland, and Steven Solis
Staff Advisor: Gerald Wade

Current hospital methods for detecting and identifying blood infections require multiple steps and extensive time. We wish to simplify this process by combining detection and identification of bacteria into one step, thus hastening proper antibiotic treatment. To accomplish this, we are designing an electronic detection system using ideas from Gerald J. Wade’s 1979 invention (US patents 4250266 and 4267276). This system will record changes in the electrochemical properties of samples suspected of contain microorganisms. The technique involves measuring electron charge dispersion of the media boundary layer surrounding the electrodes. We hope to accurately detect microbial growth and to identify characteristic changes in the charge dispersion over time unique to each species of bacteria we test, thus allowing rapid pathogen identification.