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Portable microfluidic chip for detection of Escherichia coli in produce and blood

Authors Wang S, Inci F, Chaunzwa TL, Ramanujam A, Vasudevan A, Subramanian S, Ip AC, Sridharan B, Gurkan UA, Demirci U

Received 1 January 2012

Accepted for publication 24 January 2012

Published 29 May 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2591—2600


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

ShuQi Wang,1* Fatih Inci,1* Tafadzwa L Chaunzwa,1 Ajay Ramanujam,1 Aishwarya Vasudevan,1 Sathya Subramanian,1 Alexander Chi Fai Ip,1 Banupriya Sridharan,1 Umut Atakan Gurkan,1 Utkan Demirci,1,2
Bio-Acoustic-MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Laboratory, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02139, 2Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA,

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Pathogenic agents can lead to severe clinical outcomes such as food poisoning, infection of open wounds, particularly in burn injuries and sepsis. Rapid detection of these pathogens can monitor these infections in a timely manner improving clinical outcomes. Conventional bacterial detection methods, such as agar plate culture or polymerase chain reaction, are time-consuming and dependent on complex and expensive instruments, which are not suitable for point-of-care (POC) settings. Therefore, there is an unmet need to develop a simple, rapid method for detection of pathogens such as Escherichia coli. Here, we present an immunobased microchip technology that can rapidly detect and quantify bacterial presence in various sources including physiologically relevant buffer solution (phosphate buffered saline [PBS]), blood, milk, and spinach. The microchip showed reliable capture of E. coli in PBS with an efficiency of 71.8% ± 5% at concentrations ranging from 50 to 4,000 CFUs/mL via lipopolysaccharide binding protein. The limits of detection of the microchip for PBS, blood, milk, and spinach samples were 50, 50, 50, and 500 CFUs/mL, respectively. The presented technology can be broadly applied to other pathogens at the POC, enabling various applications including surveillance of food supply and monitoring of bacteriology in patients with burn wounds.

Keywords: Escherichia coli, microchip, sepsis, food safety, point-of-care

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