Immunomagnetic Separation in Microchannels: From MEMS to BioNEMS Conference Paper uri icon

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abstract

  • Conventional methods of monitoring and testing water quality involve collection of the sample to be tested and its subsequent analysis in a research laboratory for which some procedures may not be feasible or even accessible under certain field situations. Therefore, next generation sensors are required. Herein, an innovative concept that combines a micromixer and microparticle trap is proposed that should enable more rapid pathogen detection in contaminated water. In it, immunomagnetic separation (a procedure [1,2] that is well practiced in the field of immunochemistry) is scaled down from the benchtop to the microscale. Our design is generic, i.e., design is not limited to the detection of waterborne biological agents, but can be used for other forms of chemical analysis. Testing for waterborne bacteria requires analysis methods that must meet a number of challenging criteria. Time and sensitivity of analysis are the more important limitations. Bacterial detection methods have to be rapid and very sensitive since the presence of even a small pathogenic sample may sometimes constitute an infectious or otherwise harmful dose. Selective detection is also required because small numbers of pathogenic bacteria are often present in a complex biological environment along with many other nonpathogenic organisms. As an example, the infectious dosage of a pathogen such as E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella is as low as 10 cells and the existing coliform standard for E. coli in water is 4 cells: 100 ml [3].

publication date

  • January 1, 2005