Sample Preparation by On-Chip Dielectrophoretic Separation and Concentration of Viable, Non-Viable and Viable but Not Culturable (VBNC) Escherichia coli

M. Packard, M. Shusteff, E. Alocilja
Michigan State University, US

Keywords: bacterial viability, water contamination, positive dielectrophoresis, viable but not culturable (VBNC), on-chip sample preparation


Although bacterial culture remains the gold standard for detection of viable bacteria in environmental specimens, the typical time requirement of twenty-four hours can delay and even jeopardize appropriate determination. In addition, culture is incapable of detecting viable but not culturable (VBNC) species. Conversely, nucleic acid and antibody-based methods decrease time to detection but rarely characterize viability of the bacteria detected. Through selection by membrane permeability, the method described in this work employs positive dielectrophoresis (pDEP) for separation and purification of viable and VBNC species from water and allows concentration of bacteria for downstream applications.