Droplet optofluidic imaging for λ-bacteriophage detection via co-culture with host cell Escherichia coli†
Bacteriophages are considered as attractive indicators for determining drinking water quality since its concentration is strongly correlated with virus concentrations in water samples. Previously, bacteriophage detection was based on a plague assay that required a complicated labelling technique and a time-consuming culture assay. Here, for the first time, a label-free bacteriophage detection is reported by using droplet optofluidic imaging, which uses host-cell-containing microdroplets as reaction carriers for bacteriophage infection due to a higher contact ratio. The optofluidic imaging is based on the effective refractive index changes in the microdroplet correlated with the growth rate of the infected host cells, which is highly sensitive, i.e. can detect one E. coli cell. The droplet optofluidic system is not only used in drinking water quality monitoring, but also has high potential applications for pathogenic bacteria detection in clinical diagnosis and food industry.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Optofluidics-2013