Rapid clinical antimicrobial susceptibility diagnostic system

Prof. Ester Segal | Biotechnology and Food Engineering


Chemistry and Materials | Food and Agriculture | Medical Devices | Physics and Electro-Optics


By the year 2050, antimicrobial resistance is predicted to cost the world over 100 trillion US$ cumulatively and claim 10 million lives per year. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop diagnostic methods that will help physicians to rapidly prescribe the correct antibiotics. The developed technology is an optical, label-free sensing platform using micro-structured silicon arrays for phenotypic rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of clinical samples within 60-90 min. This is achieved by unique silicon sensors, termed as PRISM chips, which provide both a preferable solid-liquid interface for bacteria networking and a simultaneous transducing element that monitors the response of bacteria when exposed to chosen antibiotics in real time. By monitoring these optical changes, bacteria are classified as susceptible or resistant in the presence of various antibiotics and corresponding minimum inhibitory concentrations of clinically relevant antibiotics are determined within <90 min without the need of fluorescence labels, excessive pre-handling, sophisticated equipment, or genomic/metabolic profiling. The method can be also applied for directly testing urinary tract infections and provides complete antibiotic susceptibility within profile with 90 min, making the patented technology significantly faster than any existing state-of-the-art phenotypic AST, as classic clinical AST is commonly performed manually using laborious techniques and take >18 hr to perform, even the automated AST systems typically take 7–20 hr to attain results. A potential product is a portable optical system of disposable low-cost sensors that can monitor the growth of bacteria in the presence of various antibiotics in a very rapid manner and provide complete susceptibility analysis within 1.5 hours.
This innovation was internationally recognized by the prestigious Longitude Prize Committee, and was awarded with Discovery Award https://longitudeprize.org/blog-post/discovery-award-winners-round-2.


  • Significantly faster (<90 min) than commonly practiced techniques
  • Minimal sample preparation and can be practiced directly in clinical samples


  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing in medical and food tech industries
arrow Business Development Contacts
Motti Koren
Director of Business Development, Life Sciences