Gransnet forums


A step toward focussing and minimising antibiotic use?

(5 Posts)
Elegran Sun 18-Feb-18 09:08:02

"Scientists have developed a probe that for the first time goes inside the lung to find bacterial infections. The new approach was inspired by the 1960s film Fantastic Voyage, in which a submarine shrinks to microscopic size to enter a human body. It is even called Proteus after that sci-fi sub."
Fantastic Voyage probe provides rapid lung investigation
More about it - Website of the Proteus design team.

oldgoat Sun 18-Feb-18 09:20:59

elegran I wonder how the probe can identify the precise strain of bacterium while it's inside the lung. Do they use a mixture of fluorescent dyes which light up different strains, do you think?

Elegran Sun 18-Feb-18 10:45:21

I couldn't see exactly how the probe itself can differentiate, but my molecular science knowledge is approximately non-existent. I think it does it by imaging the photons of the infected tissues (lit up by the fluorescent spray) and sending images up to a screen. Photons are the tiniest elements making up the molecules, and the device can show them so that an operator can presumably tell quickly exactly which bacterium is causing the disease and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic. Much time is wasted taking samples and having them painstakingly cultured in the lab and then identified.

The "Technology" button on the Proteus website leads to more details on several aspects of their research and "In the clinic" describes the molecular imaging.

Baggs Sun 18-Feb-18 11:14:31

Promising! I love human ingenuity!

oldgoat Sun 18-Feb-18 16:39:02

Thanks for the link elegran