Viability assessment of bacteria using long-range surface plasmon waveguide biosensors

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We demonstrate that long-range surface plasmon waveguide biosensors are useful to monitor the quiver of immobilized live bacteria in buffer and in human urine. First, the biosensor captures bacteria selectively, based on gram, using antibodies against gram adsorbed on the surface of the waveguide through Protein G coupling. Then, analysis of the noise present on the optical output signal reveals quiver of bacteria immobilized on the waveguide. Live bacteria produce a noisy signature compared to baseline levels. The standard deviation over time of the optical power output from the biosensor increased by factors of 3–60 over that of the baseline level for Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli immobilized selectively on waveguides.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 3

Data originate from Fig. 3a of [12]

Fig. 4

Data originate from Fig. 4 of [12]

Fig. 5

Data originate from Fig. 5 of [12]


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We are grateful to the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) for funding this work under project number 21107. We are grateful to Canadian Blood Services (Sandra Ramirez, for donating two bacteria strains: Escherichia coli (E. coli) XL1 Blue and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epi) ATCC 12228. We are grateful to Oleksiy Krupin for assistance with the application of the surface chemistries.

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Correspondence to Pierre Berini.

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Béland, P., Berini, P. Viability assessment of bacteria using long-range surface plasmon waveguide biosensors. Appl. Phys. A 123, 31 (2017).

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  • Human Urine
  • Live Bacterium
  • Output Optical Power
  • Bacterium Immobilization
  • Local Refractive Index