AN artificial nose that can swiftly sniff out blood poisoning bacteria has been developed by scientists.
The device can test for the bugs in just 24 hours instead of the usual 72 - a difference that could save lives.
The new device consists of a small plastic bottle with a chemical sensing array (CSA) or "artificial nose" attached to the inside.
A blood sample is injected into the bottle which is then shaken to agitate a nutrient solution and encourage bacteria to grow.
Signature odours released by the bugs change the colours of 36 pigment dots on the sensor. Different patterns of colours correspond to different bacteria strains.
"We have a solution to a major problem with the blood cultures that hospitals have used for more than 25 years to diagnose patients with blood-borne bacterial infections," said Dr James Carey, from the National University of Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
"Our CSA blood culture bottle can be used almost anywhere in the world for a very low cost and minimal training," said Dr Carey.
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