Perspective | Published:

Point-of-care sensors for the management of sepsis

Nature Biomedical Engineeringvolume 2pages640648 (2018) | Download Citation


Point-of-care sensors that enable the fast collection of information relevant to a patient’s health state can facilitate improved health access, reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of healthcare delivery. In the diagnosis of sepsis — defined as a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection, and the leading cause of in-patient death and of hospital readmission in the United States — predicting which infections will lead to life-threatening organ dysfunction and developing specific anti-sepsis treatments remain challenging because of the significant heterogeneity of the host response. Yet the use of point-of-care devices could reduce the time from the onset of a patient’s infection to the administration of appropriate therapeutics. In this Perspective, we describe the current state of point-of-care sensors for the diagnosis and monitoring of sepsis, and outline opportunities in the use of these devices to dramatically improve patient care.

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The authors thank B. Davis, J. Kumar, V. Reddi, J. Eardley, E. Iniguez, N. Topudurti, G. Damhorst and I. Taneja for useful discussions around clinical care for septic patients, technology development and data analytics.

Author information


  1. Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

    • B. Reddy Jr
    • , U. Hassan
    •  & R. Bashir
  2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

    • B. Reddy Jr
    • , U. Hassan
    •  & R. Bashir
  3. Stephens Biomedical Research Center, Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL, USA

    • B. Reddy Jr
    • , U. Hassan
    • , K. White
    • , W. Weir
    •  & R. Bashir
  4. Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    • C. Seymour
    •  & D. C. Angus
  5. Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

    • T. S. Isbell
  6. OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, IL, USA

    • L. Yeh
    •  & A. Vincent
  7. Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Urbana, IL, USA

    • R. Bashir


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B.R., U.H. and R.B. conceived and designed the article. C.S., T.S.I., D.C.A., L.Y., W.W., K.W. and A.V. helped in identifying the primary clinical needs in sepsis and provided intellectual input on the best solutions to these needs. B.R. and U.H. made the figures and table. All authors provided input and reviewed the article. B.R., U.H. and R.B. edited the manuscript.

Competing interests

B.R., R.B. and U.H. have financial interests in Prenosis Inc. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Bashir.

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