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Collaborative Success Stories: Up to Speed

Speedier diagnostic technology developed at the University of Missouri could help keep sepsis patients alive.

Sepsis is an inflammatory response to a blood-borne infection which can trigger a cascade of changes and damage multiple organ systems. The condition becomes deadly very quickly, killing more people each year than breast and lung cancer combined.

The good news is that sepsis is can be readily contained if bloodstream infections can be detected quickly. Unfortunately, current blood cultures take from one to five days to yield positive results, and the majority of patients will not survive past three days. However, MU bioengineer Shramik Sengupta has developed a revolutionary method to detect bloodstream infections in two to 12 hours. The technology was licensed by entrepreneur Steve O’Connor to form the basis of his company ImpeDx Diagnostics, Inc. Sengupta also serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Along with its development partners, ImpeDx has obtained more than $3 Million in NIH SBIR funding and about $500K in private funds to develop their blood culture instrument.

With the incidence of sepsis on the rise in the U.S., the invention could impact an untold number of patients and their families. “We hope that this technology will save hundreds of thousands of lives every year,” says Sengupta.

Dr. Shramik Sengupta is an associate professor of bioengineering in the Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine