Enrichment of viable bacteria in a micro-volume by free-flow electrophoresis

Macro- to micro-volume concentration of viable bacteria is performed in a microfluidic chip. The enrichment principle is based on free flow electrophoresis and is demonstrated for Gram positive bacteria. Bacteria from a suspension flow are trapped on a gel interface that separates the trapping location from integrated actuation electrodes in order to enable non-destructive trapping. The microfluidic chip contains integrated electrolytic gas expulsion structures and phaseguides for gel and liquid handling. Trapping efficiency is systematically optimized to reach 25 times the initial concentration from a theoretical maximum of 30. Finally, enrichment from analytically relevant concentrations down to 3 × 10(2) colony forming units per millilitre is demonstrated with a trapping efficiency of 80% which represents the most important parameter in enrichment.


S. Podszun, P. Vulto, H. Heinz, S. Hakenberg, C. Hermann, T. Hankemeier, G.A. Urban
Authors from the NMC: 
2012; 12: 451-457
Published in: 
Lab on a Chip
Date of publication: 
February, 2012
Status of the publication: