Christer Malmberg defends his PhD work
On the 21st of May 2021, our Ph.D. student Christer Malmberg successfully defended his dissertation on the development of an exciting new rapid diagnostic tool to assess antibiotic susceptibility in blood cultures: the QuickMIC rapid AST system.
Due to the current diagnostics tools available, life-threatening infections like sepsis are treated initially with empirical therapy and then adjusted after the preliminary antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) results are available. Nevertheless, optimal therapy and precision treatment for each infection are not possible until the full susceptibility and minimum inhibitory concentrations for each antibiotic are found. In these cases, the time from infection to treatment is crucial to ensure a successful result.
Christer’s research focused on the development of a new rapid AST system that starts at the positive blood culture step and that provides quick, sensitive, and precise data on the bacterial properties using a method based on the light scattered through a microfluidic chip that contains the bacterial sample and a gradient of antibiotics tested.
This dissertation presented the results of four studies, ranging from the initial development of the system and proof of concept, the scale-up to design a multichannel system with improved optics, the iteration and implementation of the system used for sepsis samples, and all the way to the establishment of a final system and use in an initial clinical pilot study. For this work, Christer worked both at Uppsala University and at Gradientech, a company working on developing health solutions based on microfluidics.
From the Uppsala Antibiotic Center, we congratulate Christer Malmberg on his great work and well-deserved Ph.D. title. We look forward to the continuation of this important research.
Want to learn more about Christer's work? Check out this resources:
- Dr. Christer Malmberg's thesis. Development of a robust and rapid microfluidics-based antibiotic susceptibility test. From prototype to clinical implementation.
- A Novel Microfluidic Assay for Rapid Phenotypic Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing of Bacteria Detected in Clinical Blood Cultures. Malmberg, C. & Yuen, P. et al. 2016. PLoS One.
- A Multiplex Fluidic Chip for Rapid Phenotypic Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing. Wistrand-Yuen, P., & Malmberg, C. et al. 2020. mBio