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New microfluidic chip for discriminating bacteria

Date:
September 15, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A new "on-chip" method for sorting and identifying bacteria has been created by biomedical engineers. The discovery may lead to portable devices that could be used for analyzing bacteria-infected blood, finding the causes of urethral irritation, and for screening raw milk and other foods.

A new "on-chip" method for sorting and identifying bacteria has been created by biomedical engineers at Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University. The technique, developed by Hsien-Chang Chang, a professor at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute of Nanotechnology and Microsystems Engineering, along with former graduate student I-Fang Cheng and their colleagues, is described in the AIP journal Biomicrofluidics.

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Using roughened glass slides patterned with gold electrodes, the researchers created microchannels to sort, trap, and identify bacteria. The technique uses surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. This type of spectroscopy, says Chang, "is based on the measurement of scattered light from the vibration energy levels of chemical bonds following excitation in a craggy metal surface, which enhances the vibration energy." Different components like proteins or other chemical components on the surface of bacteria become attached to the craggy gold zone; when excited, these components cause representative peaks at different wavelengths, creating spectral "fingerprints."

Although some species of bacteria could show very similar signatures because the components on their surfaces are almost the same, says Chang, bacteria from different genera are distinguishable using the technique.

"In the future, different species of fungi could also be sorted based on their different electrical or physical properties by optimizing conditions such as the flow rate, applied voltage, and frequency," he says. "This portable device could be used for preliminary screening for the pathogenic targets in bacteria-infected blood, urethral irritation, and of raw milk and for food monitoring."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I-Fang Cheng, Chi-Chang Lin, Dong-Yi Lin, Hsien-Chang Chang. A dielectrophoretic chip with a roughened metal surface for on-chip surface-enhanced Raman scattering analysis of bacteria. Biomicrofluidics, 2010; 4 (3): 034104 DOI: 10.1063/1.3474638

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "New microfluidic chip for discriminating bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095924.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, September 15). New microfluidic chip for discriminating bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095924.htm
American Institute of Physics. "New microfluidic chip for discriminating bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095924.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

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