A Rapid Method for Estimation of Cariogenic Bacteria Based on a Stationary Liquid Phase Lab-on-a-chip


Salivary levels of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus sp. are important risk factors for dental caries. Application of current test methods is limited because of the requirement for a time-consuming incubation step or expensive laboratory instruments. In this study, we developed a rapid method for determination of the representative cariogenic bacteria, S. mutans and Lactobacillus plantarum, based on a stationary liquid phase lab-on-a-chip (SLP LOC). The method utilized two types of particles, i.e., magnetic capture particles (CPs) for capture of target bacteria and nonmagnetic labeling particles (LPs) for labeling of the captured bacteria with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Complexes of CP-bacteria-LP were formed in a sample chamber of the LOC and transported to a detection chamber containing the chromogenic substrate of HRP by moving a magnet under the LOC. The method is simple and enabled detection of the two bacteria in a range required for caries risk diagnosis within 40 min without the use of any complicated instruments. Accordingly, this method may have applications in the rapid diagnosis of dental caries risk.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Stecksén-Blicks, C. Salivary counts of lactobacilli and Streptococcus mutans in caries prediction. Scand. J. Dent. Res. 93, 204–212 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Krasse, B. Biological factors as indicators of future caries. Int. Dent. J. 38, 219–225 (1988).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    McCormack-Brown, K.R. & McDermott, R.J. Dental caries: selected factors of children at risk. Dent. Assist. 60, 10–14 (1991).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Mundorff, S.A., Eisenberg, A.D., Leverett, D.H., Espeland, M.A. & Proskin, H.M. Correlations between numbers of microflora in plaque and saliva. Caries Res. 24, 312–317 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    van Houte, J. Microbiological predictors of caries risk. Adv. Dent. Res. 7, 87–96 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Baehni, P.C. & Guggenheim, B. Potential of diagnostic microbiology for treatment and prognosis of dental caries and periodontal diseases. Crit. Rev. Oral Biol. Med. 7, 259–277 (1996).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Shi, S., Liang, Q., Hayashi, Y., Yakushiji, M. & Machida, Y. The relationship between caries activity and the status of dental caries—application of the Dentocult SM method. Chin. J. Dent. Res. 1, 52–55 (1998).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Crossner, C.G. Salivary Lactobacillus counts in the prediction of caries activity. Community Dent. Oral Epidemiol. 9, 182–190 (1981).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    de Soet, J.J., van Dalen, P.J., Pavicic, M.J. & de Graaff, J. Enumeration of mutans streptococci in clinical samples by using monoclonal antibodies. J. Clin. Microbiol. 28, 2467–2472 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Shi, W., Jewett, A. & Hume, W.R. Rapid and quantitative detection of Streptococcus mutans with species-specific monoclonal antibodies. Hybridoma 17, 365–371 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Gu, F. et al. Analyses of Streptococcus mutans in saliva with species-specific monoclonal antibodies. Hybrid. Hybridomics 21, 225–232 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Cangelosi, G.A., Iversen, J.M., Zuo, Y., Oswald, T.K. & Lamont, R.J. Oligonucleotide probes for mutans streptococci. Mol. Cell Probes 8, 73–80 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Oho, T., Yamashita, Y., Shimazaki, Y., Kushiyama, M. & Koga, T. Simple and rapid detection of Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus in human saliva by polymerase chain reaction. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 15, 258–262 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Igarashi, T., Ichikawa, K., Yamamoto, A. & Goto, N. Identification of mutans streptococcal species by the PCR products of the dex genes. J. Microbiol. Methods 46, 99–105 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Yoshida, A. et al. Development of a 5' nuclease-based real-time PCR assay for quantitative detection of cariogenic dental pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus. J. Clin. Microbiol. 41, 4438–4441 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Nagashima, S. et al. Rapid detection of the cariogenic pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus using loop-mediated isothermal amplification. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. 22, 361–368 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Matsumoto, Y., Sugihara, N., Koseki, M. & Maki, Y. A rapid and quantitative detection system for Streptococcus mutans in saliva using monoclonal antibodies. Caries Res. 40, 15–19 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Kim, M.H. & Choi, S.-J. Immunoassay of paralytic shellfish toxins by moving magnetic particles in a stationary liquid-phase lab-on-a-chip. Biosens. Bioelectron. 66, 136–140 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Yu, E. & Choi, S.-J. Development of an improved stationary liquid-phase lab-on-a-chip for the field monitoring of paralytic shellfish toxins. BioChip J. 11, 30–38 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Park, B. & Choi, S.-J. Sensitive immunoassay-based detection of Vibrio parahaemolyticus using capture and labeling particles in a stationary liquid phase lab-on-achip. Biosens. Bioelectron. 90, 269–275 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Hatton, M.N., Levine, M.J., Margarone, J.E. & Aguirre, A. Lubrication and viscosity features of human saliva and commercially available saliva substitutes. J. Oral Maxillofac. Surg. 45, 496–499 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Suk-Jung Choi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kim, HJ., Choi, SJ. A Rapid Method for Estimation of Cariogenic Bacteria Based on a Stationary Liquid Phase Lab-on-a-chip. BioChip J 12, 52–58 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13206-017-2107-x

Download citation


  • Magnetic particle
  • Stationary liquid phase
  • Lab-on-a-chip
  • Cariogenic bacteria
  • Immunoassay