Microfluidics for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

Zhengzhi Liu, Niaz Banaei, Kangning REN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The ever-growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) demands immediate countermeasures. With its novelty and enabling features including downscaled analysis, precisely controlled local environment, and enhanced speed, accuracy, and cost-efficiency, microfluidics has demonstrated potential in several key areas, including furthering our understanding of bacteria, developing better susceptibility testing tools, and overcoming obstacles in discovery and research of new antibiotics. While ample research results in the field of microfluidics are available, their transformation into practical application is still lagging far behind. We believe that the challenge of AMR will give microfluidics a much-needed opportunity to leap from research papers to true productivity, and gain wider acceptance as a mature technology. Fueled by the large-scale use of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance has become a global issue that threatens public health with bacterial infections impossible to treat, demanding immediate, effective, and innovative solutions. Recent advances in microfluidics demonstrated the possibility of employing this new technology in addressing key problems in AMR. The advantages in terms of speed, accuracy, and throughput, as well as new capabilities are of important value for us to better understand, monitor, and control AMR. Several obstacles remain in the way of translating microfluidic research output into products, and the challenge of AMR represents an opportunity for this field to gain wider acceptance from end users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1139
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • drug discovery
  • microfluidics


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