Methods of rapid microbiological assay and their application to pharmaceutical and medical device fabrication

Biocontrol Sci. 2011 Mar;16(1):13-21. doi: 10.4265/bio.16.13.


There are several well-developed rapid microbiological methods now becoming available that may have useful applications in pharmaceutical and medical devices. They are ATP bioluminescence, fluorescent labeling, electrical resistance, and nucleic acid probes. In choosing to employ rapid methods, the microbiologist should examine their prospective performances against the specific requirements for that sector. Some methods may require expensive equipment and offer full automation, and others represent only a small investment. The regulatory view of these methods is changing and they still officially have not been approved in medical and pharmaceutical area, but it will still be up to the microbiologist to demonstrate that the method chosen is fit for the purpose intended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Microbiological Techniques / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods
  • Sterilization / methods
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods*