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Issue 21, 2010
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Single-cell bacteria growth monitoring by automated DEP-facilitated image analysis

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Abstract

Growth monitoring is the method of choice in many assays measuring the presence or properties of pathogens, e.g. in diagnostics and food quality. Established methods, relying on culturing large numbers of bacteria, are rather time-consuming, while in healthcare time often is crucial. Several new approaches have been published, mostly aiming at assaying growth or other properties of a small number of bacteria. However, no method so far readily achieves single-cell resolution with a convenient and easy to handle setup that offers the possibility for automation and high throughput. We demonstrate these benefits in this study by employing dielectrophoretic capturing of bacteria in microfluidic electrode structures, optical detection and automated bacteria identification and counting with image analysis algorithms. For a proof-of-principle experiment we chose an antibiotic susceptibility test with Escherichia coli and polymyxin B. Growth monitoring is demonstrated on single cells and the impact of the antibiotic on the growth rate is shown. The minimum inhibitory concentration as a standard diagnostic parameter is derived from a dose–response plot. This report is the basis for further integration of image analysis code into device control. Ultimately, an automated and parallelized setup may be created, using an optical microscanner and many of the electrode structures simultaneously. Sufficient data for a sound statistical evaluation and a confirmation of the initial findings can then be generated in a single experiment.

Graphical abstract: Single-cell bacteria growth monitoring by automated DEP-facilitated image analysis

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Article information


Submitted
26 Mar 2010
Accepted
15 Jul 2010
First published
14 Sep 2010

Lab Chip, 2010,10, 2944-2951
Article type
Paper

Single-cell bacteria growth monitoring by automated DEP-facilitated image analysis

I. Peitz and R. van Leeuwen, Lab Chip, 2010, 10, 2944
DOI: 10.1039/C004691D

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