Particle Diffusometry: An Optical Detection Method for Vibrio cholerae Presence in Environmental Water Samples.

Sci Rep 2019 Feb 11;9(1):1739. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.

There is a need for a rapid, robust, and sensitive biosensor to identify low concentrations of pathogens in their native sample matrix without enrichment or purification. Nucleic acid-based detection methods are widely accepted as the gold standard in diagnostics, but robust detection of low concentrations of pathogens remains challenging. Amplified nucleic acids produce more viscous solutions, which can be measured by combining these products with fluorescent particles and measuring the change in the particle diffusion coefficient using a technique known as particle diffusometry. Here, we utilize Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae) as a proof-of-concept for our detection system due to its inherently low concentration in environmental water samples. We demonstrate that particle diffusometry can be used to detect down to 1 V. cholerae cell in molecular-grade water in 20 minutes and 10 V. cholerae cells in pond water in just 35 minutes in 25 µL reaction volumes. The detection limit in pond water is environmentally relevant and does not require any enrichment or sample preparation steps. Particle diffusometry is 10-fold more sensitive than current gold standard fluorescence detection of nucleic acid amplification. Therefore, this novel measurement technique is a promising approach to detect low levels of pathogens in their native environments.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-38056-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6370876PMC
February 2019
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