Date of Completion

Spring 5-4-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Joerg Graf; Guoan Zheng

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology

Second Honors Major

Biomedical Engineering


Biology | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Microbiology | Molecular Biology


Infectious diseases and septicemia are two of the major causes of death in the U.S., necessitating rapid treatment of septic patients with proper, efficacious antibiotics. Unfortunately, the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria are continuously being aggravated by an abuse in antibiotic prescription at a clinical and agricultural level. It is known that antibiotic resistance evolves through the sequential accumulation of multiple mutations in bacteria, which is accentuated by prolonged exposure of bacteria to ineffective antibiotics when implementing traditional septicemia treatment. The goal of this project is to develop a novel, easy-to-use AST platform for rapid antimicrobial susceptibility profiling to reduce the incidence and mortality rates, and to reduce inappropriate antibiotic usage commonly associated with invasive pathogens. As time progresses, antibiotic resistance becomes more prevalent and so does the need to effectively test antibiotics on any given bacteria strain in a timely manner. This project will utilize an E. coli bacteria and antibiotic plating method combined with a single-cell-level lensless imaging system to achieve this task. Here we propose a device that incorporates the working principle of a speckle-scanning pictographic lensless imaging scheme to visualize (in real-time) the growth of single cells of bacteria in a microscopic population under different antibiotic types and different concentrations of respective antibiotics. This system may further be optimized by directly imaging a blood sample, effectively bypassing the time it takes to perform traditional blood sampling, culture isolation, and culture propagation for antibiotic susceptibility testing. Our model organism will be Escherichia coli K-12.