• Potomac Photonics
  • July 13, 2020

Microfluidic Device to counter the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis in healthcare.

Microfluidic Device to counter the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis in healthcare.

March 2020, Astek Diagnostics LLC, won the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) Award to develop a microfluidic device to detect bacterial infections in blood and evaluate the antimicrobial susceptibility. Astek, in partnership with Potomac Photonics Inc., will be designing a state-of-the art microfluidic lab-on-chip sensor for rapid detection of microorganisms in bodily fluids (like, blood, urine, tear drops and saliva). The microfluidic device design, rapid bacterial testing, and translation into the clinic will be conducted at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Medical School.

The antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis which is predicted to become the number one cause of death by 2050, resulting to nearly 10 million deaths per year unless we mount a global response1. The countermeasures for AMR are more effective sensing and early detection of mutations within microorganisms. Current detection of antimicrobial susceptibility testing measurements relies largely on cell culture-based assays that are costly, labor intensive and can take anywhere from 2-3 days. Astek Diagnostics, has developed a cost-effective technology capable of analyzing contaminant within 60 minutes2. Such technology has various implication in healthcare, homeland security and the pharmaceutical industry, like for example, combating sepsis, environmental control for homeland security, infectious diseases, contaminants in food and beverages, biotherapeutic quality control, oil and gas industry, etc.

The microfluidic device prototyping, scale-up, manufacturing and commercialization of the product in the USA and other world markets will be dealt with by Potomac Photonics Inc. Our partnership will revolutionize the way we sense bacteria, disrupts the $18 billion cell culture industry, provides a cost-effective solution for 1.2 billion tests performed annually and most of all reduces the sensing time from days to minutes. Together with the Research and Development labs at Potomac Photonics Inc., researchers at Astek, look to commercialize this technology for Sepsis and AMR applications.

Potomac has significant experience in design and mass-production of microfluidic devices for biomedical application. Potomac’s Product and Process Technology (PPT) will lead this effort to help commercialize this technology for microbial bioburden and AMR detection at the Point-of-care. Potomac Photonics Inc. specializes in various microfluidics device fabrication methods, with client services for feature sizes ranging from 2 mm – 2 mm and provide a wide range of capabilities with high precision multiplexing options. Together with the UMBC and the FDA, Potomac Photonics will cost-effective manufacturing solutions using thermoplastic devices and provide a path towards seamless manufacturing


  1. Leonard, H. et al. Rapid diagnostic susceptibility testing of bacteria and fungi from clinical samples using silicon gratings. 1089504, 3 (2019).
  2. Al-Adhami, M., Tilahun, D., Rao, G., Gurramkonda, C. & Kostov, Y. Rapid Detection of Microbial Contamination Using a Microfluidic Device BT- Biosensors and Biodetection: Methods and Protocols Volume 1: Optical-Based Detectors. in (eds. Rasooly, A. & Prickril, B.) 287–299 (Springer New York, 2017). doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-6848-0_18.

Other Posts

Potomac Celebrates MfgDay By Exploring Advanced Manufacturing Career Options

Each October manufacturers, led by the National Association of Manufacturers, focus on the career opportunities that manufacturing brings to a wide range of industries.  This year Manufacturing Day is October 2 and while plant tours and other in-person activities are not feasible, we can learn more about jobs at companies like Potomac Photonics. This Isn’t…

  • Potomac Photonics
  • October 2, 2020

Potomac PPT Drives Innovation with Breakthroughs for Laser Welding Clear Plastic Parts

Potomac has many competitive advantages that has made it a leader in the advanced manufacturing industry.  We offer the fastest turnaround times, often as quickly as 24-hours; our quality control systems are second to none; and the wide range of technologies on our factory floor always ensure we can choose the right tool for the…

  • Potomac Photonics
  • August 25, 2020

Black Lives Matter: From Rhetoric to Action for US Companies

We are seeing so many emails and blog posts from companies that say: “We Stand With Black Lives Matter Protesters”.  But when all is said and done, how does a company move beyond rhetoric to action? Saying you support the Black Lives Matter movement is a far cry from hiring and training black people locally…

  • Mike Adelstein
  • June 19, 2020