BioPAPER. Rapid tests for pathogen detection in hospitals

Roberto de la Rica


    Roberto de la Rica


    Fundació Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Illes Balears, Spain


    The inexorable rise of antimicrobial resistance means that antibiotics may be ineffective even when administered in a timely manner. Identifying the pathogen causing the infection would allow clinicians to personalize antibiotic prescriptions according to local resistance patterns.

    BioPAPER is a rapid diagnostic test that identifies pathogens in urine or respiratory samples in less than 10 minutes. This quick turnaround time makes BioPAPER suitable for guiding the antibiotic treatment, a much-needed advance in sepsis management.

    BioPAPER produces rapid tests for bacteria detection that are entirely made of filter paper. The paper substrate absorbs bacteria within 30 seconds, and during the following 5 minutes pathogens are exposed to antibody-decorated nanoparticles integrated in the same paper strip. After a short washing step, a spot appears on the paper whose color intensity is directly related to the concentration of the target pathogen.

    The first prototypes can detect E. coli in urine or Pseudomonas aeruginosa in respiratory samples (sputum). Detection in respiratory samples is underpinned by a method for ultrafast sample liquefaction developed by the BioPAPER team.