Quantification of bacterial cells based on autofluorescence on a microfluidic platform
Date of this Version2-15-2008
This document has been peer-reviewed.
Bacterial counts provide important information during the processes such as pathogen detection and hygiene inspection and these processes are critical for public health and food/pharmaceutical production. In this study, we demonstrate the quantification of the number of bacterial cells based on the autofluorescence from the cell lysate on a microfluidic chip. We tested three model pathogenic bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes F4244, Salmonella Enteritidis PT1 and Escherichia coli O157:H7 EDL 933). In the experiment, a plug of similar to 150 pL containing lysate from 240 to 4100 cells was injected into a microfluidic channel with downstream laser-induced fluorescence detection under electrophoresis conditions. We found that the autofluorescence intensity increased with the number of cells almost linearly for all three bacteria. The autofluorescence remained a single peak when the cell lysate contained a mixture of different bacterial species. We also demonstrate a simple microfluidic device that integrates entrapment and electrical lysis of bacterial cells with fluorescence detection. Such a device can carry out the quantification of bacterial cells based on lysate autofluorescence without off-chip procedures. This study offers a simple and fast solution to on-chip quantification of bacterial cells without labeling. We believe that the method can be extended to other bacterial species.