Rapid and specific diagnostic techniques are needed to expedite specific treatment of bacterial skin infections with narrow-spectrum antibiotics, rather than broad-spectrum. Through this work a device was developed to determine the presence of and species responsible for a bacterial skin infection using differences in Mie scatter spectra created by different bacterial species. A 650 nm LED at five different incident angles is used to illuminate the tissue, with Mie scatter being detected by PIN photodiodes at eight different detection angles. Mie scatter patterns are collected at all photodiode angles for each of the incident light angles, resulting in a Mie scatter spectra. Detectable differences in Mie scatter spectra were found using the device developed between commensal bacteria (no infection) and bacteria inoculated (infection) on the surface of both porcine and human cadaveric epidermis. Detectable differences were found between species of infection, specifically Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, with differences summarized through principle component analysis. Mie scatter spectra can be detected within a few seconds without skin contact. This device is the first to rapidly and specifically diagnose bacterial skin infections in a contact-less manner, allowing for initial treatment with narrow spectrum antibiotics, and helping to reduce the likelihood of resistance.
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