A collaborative research team from the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Medicine has recently developed fungi spore-inspired microrobots to detect Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) bacterial toxins. The microrobots are active sensors capable of detecting the toxins in stool samples accurately within 15 minutes, based on a specific combination. The current clinical test of the toxins normally takes one to two days. C. difficile infection is the most common hospital acquired enteric infection. The toxins secreted by C. difficile will cause diarrhoea, fever and hematochezia. In some cases, patients may develop life-threatening peritonitis and sepsis.
This article was originally published in No. 533, Newsletter in Mar 2019.