Abstract by Amanda Howard
Physics and Astronomy
Robert Davis, Richard Vanfleet
Using modified magnetic particles to separate bacteria from blood for rapid diagnosis
Each year, sepsis kills a quarter million Americans, while identifying the bacterial infection that causes sepsis takes 24 hours or more. Our overall goal is to reduce the time it takes to identify the bacteria that causes sepsis. The technique we are using includes attaching chemically modified magnetic particles to E. coli bacteria and pulling the bacteria out of blood using a magnet. Our initial tests had low bacteria capture; we suspected our particle recovery rates were low. To improve our particle capture recovery, we tested our particle capture without bacteria with different magnetic field gradients, magnetization times, and different tube materials and diameters. With our improved particle recovery, we can now take the next step in rapidly separating bacteria from blood for quick diagnosis.