Rapid Electrochemical Assay for Detecting Antibiotic Susceptibility (READAS)

Unmet Need: Fast and effective technique to expedite antibiotic selection

Studies show that each year in the U.S., at least 2.8 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or fungi, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. According to the World Health Organization’s 2016 report, the number of drug-resistant infections is expected to reach a staggering ten million by 2050, making it one of the world’s most urgent public health problems. There is an unmet need for identifying etiological pathogens in order to determine which antibiotic should be used for the cure. The current testing methods for bacterial susceptibility rely on cell growth, which can take up to 24 hours in conventional assays. Also, the entire process from isolation to growth and the subsequent testing methods could take 2-3 days, thus risking the lives of patients who need immediate care. A promising technique in this direction is the development of electrochemical assays monitoring bacterial cellular respiration to help with the initial antibiotic selection based on rapid susceptibility results.

The Technology: Rapid Electrochemical Assay for Detecting Antibiotic Susceptibility

Aiming to expedite the methodology of testing the susceptibility or resistance of bacterial culture to antibiotics, the inventors at Washington State University have proposed the mediated extracellular electron transfer as a rapid and direct method to aid with this effort. Employing their novel technique- Rapid Electrochemical Assay for Detecting Antibiotic Susceptibility (READAS), they have custom-designed an electrochemical cell where the growth media is supplemented with a soluble electron transfer mediator to facilitate bacterial cell respiration. The current generated through the electron transfer process is recorded and based on the current measurements it is able to classify the bacteria as antibiotic-susceptible or -resistant in a time span of under 90 minutes.


  • Hospitals
  • Mobile clinics
  • Medical research labs


  • Low-cost rapid testing
  • Easy and effective selection process
  • Accurate results
  • Correct prescription

Patent Information:

A provisional patent application has been filed.

Learn More

Rabindra Nanda
Technology Licensing Associate Senior
Washington State University
(509) 335-8608
Reference No: TECH-22/3448


Douglas Call
Haluk Beyenal
Abdelrhman Mohamed
Gretchen Tibbits

Key Words

Antimicrobial Resistance
Clinical microbiology