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IMB-CNM Invited Talk: Rapid tests for personalized sepsis management


15 Jun 2021

IMB-CNM Invited Talk: Rapid tests for personalized sepsis management

By Roberto de la Rica (co-coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Sepsis Group at Fundació Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Illes Balears, IdISBa).


Unattended infections can progress to sepsis, a life-threatening condition with a poor prognosis and huge economic impact. Current protocols for sepsis management recommend empiric antimicrobial therapy within the first hour of suspecting sepsis. However, poor outcomes will be obtained if the pathogen causing the infection is resistant to the provided antibiotic. Current methods for pathogen detection require hour-long bacteriological culture protocols, and therefore they are not suitable for guiding the first antibiotic regime. In this presentation I will introduce several rapid tests aimed at solving this issue. Pathogen identification is accomplished within minutes using origami immunosensors incorporating plasmonic nanoprobes. The tests detect pathogens (E. coli, P. aeruginosa) in urine and respiratory samples in less than 10 min. Detection in respiratory samples is underpinned by a novel method for instant sample liquefaction at the bedside. I will also show an adaptation of this technology for detecting SARS-CoV-2 antigens non-invasively.

About de la Rica

Dr. Roberto de la Rica is currently working as the co-coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Sepsis Group at IdISBa thanks to a Radix Fellowship. His research career has a strong international character, with postdoctoral positions in renowned institutions such as the City University of New York, the University of Twente, Imperial College London and the University of Stratchlyde. He has been awarded a large number of research fellowships and academic prizes, including highly competitive positions such as the Marie Curie and Ramón y Cajal Fellowships. He currently supervises a group of 8 chemists, biochemists and engineers working in close contact with a group of 17 doctors and nurses in order to find new ways to improve sepsis care.