Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Reinventing Infection Detection

Microbiologist Harshini Mukundan relies on the chemistry of the immune system to diagnose disease quickly and accurately.
February 1, 2019
Harshini Mukundan sets up an experiment using an optical waveguide biosensor.

Harshini Mukundan sets up an experiment using an optical waveguide biosensor.

We want to make it easy for clinicians to determine if any type of bacteria is present in a sample.

Improving health care worldwide relies on answering a seemingly simple question: Is the causative agent of disease bacterial or viral? Or if possible, what specific pathogen is it? The challenge is that there is no single test that can be used to diagnose all infections, as most diagnostic tools target only one specific type of pathogen. Building on long-standing Los Alamos technologies, new engineering, and innovative immune system-inspired protocols, microbiologist Harshini Mukundan and her team are pioneering an approach to improve detection by rapidly screening for any type of bacteria with just one easy-to-use test.

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