Whole-cell Bacterial Detection

Tech ID: 18-050

Inventors: Dr. Paul W. Bohn and Dr. Jiayun Hu 

Date Added: August 22, 2019


A method of sample preparation that enables rapid whole-cell bacteria detection.

Technology Summary

Proper diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections typically requires culturing and laboratory analysis of biofluids which may take anywhere from 48 hours to a week. During this time doctors will prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic that will kill a range of bacteria that may or may not include target bacteria. Not only is this delay in detection problematic from a treatment standpoint, but the‌ ‌lack‌ ‌of‌ ‌specificity‌ ‌is also contributing to the rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Dr. Paul Bohn and Dr. Jiayun Hu have developed a method of sample preparation that allows for near single-cell detection of bacteria using the whole cell that is much faster than current methods. The method uses existing lab equipment, is inexpensive, fast (< 3 hours), and accurate. Whole-cell bacterial detection uses a glass slide with a gold nanotriangle array as its sensor, to which is attached a specific biotinylated aptamer. This aptamer attaches two bacteria in the sample which are then detected via Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR).

Market Advantages 

  • Detects bacteria much faster 
  • Cheaper than methods such as PCR (<$50 compared to $500)
  • Uses existing, easy to use equipment (LPSR)
  • Requires an extremely small sample size

Technology Readiness Status

TRL 3 - Proof of Concept

Intellectual Property

PCT/US2018/066884 (Biosensor and Method for Detection of Analytes)


Whole-Cell Pseudomonas aeruginosa Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Aptasensor
doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b04800


Richard Cox