Point-of-critical-care diagnostics for sepsis enabled by multiplexed micro and nanosensing technologies

Brandon K. Ashley, Umer Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sepsis is responsible for the highest economic and mortality burden in critical care settings around the world, prompting the World Health Organization in 2018 to designate it as a global health priority. Despite its high universal prevalence and mortality rate, a disproportionately low amount of sponsored research funding is directed toward diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, when early treatment has been shown to significantly improve survival. Additionally, current technologies and methods are inadequate to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis of septic patients in multiple clinical environments. For improved patient outcomes, a comprehensive immunological evaluation is critical which is comprised of both traditional testing and quantifying recently proposed biomarkers for sepsis. There is an urgent need to develop novel point-of-care, low-cost systems which can accurately stratify patients. These point-of-critical-care sensors should adopt a multiplexed approach utilizing multimodal sensing for heterogenous biomarker detection. For effective multiplexing, the sensors must satisfy criteria including rapid sample to result delivery, low sample volumes for clinical sample sparring, and reduced costs per test. A compendium of currently developed multiplexed micro and nano (M/N)-based diagnostic technologies for potential applications toward sepsis are presented. We have also explored the various biomarkers targeted for sepsis including immune cell morphology changes, circulating proteins, small molecules, and presence of infectious pathogens. An overview of different M/N detection mechanisms are also provided, along with recent advances in related nanotechnologies which have shown improved patient outcomes and perspectives on what future successful technologies may encompass. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1701
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • diagnostics and management
  • disease
  • micronanotechnology
  • point-of-critical-care biosensors


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