Vision Marker-Based In Situ Examination of Bacterial Growth in Liquid Culture Media

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Dec 18;16(12):2179. doi: 10.3390/s16122179.


The detection of bacterial growth in liquid media is an essential process in determining antibiotic susceptibility or the level of bacterial presence for clinical or research purposes. We have developed a system, which enables simplified and automated detection using a camera and a striped pattern marker. The quantification of bacterial growth is possible as the bacterial growth in the culturing vessel blurs the marker image, which is placed on the back of the vessel, and the blurring results in a decrease in the high-frequency spectrum region of the marker image. The experiment results show that the FFT (fast Fourier transform)-based growth detection method is robust to the variations in the type of bacterial carrier and vessels ranging from the culture tubes to the microfluidic devices. Moreover, the automated incubator and image acquisition system are developed to be used as a comprehensive in situ detection system. We expect that this result can be applied in the automation of biological experiments, such as the Antibiotics Susceptibility Test or toxicity measurement. Furthermore, the simple framework of the proposed growth measurement method may be further utilized as an effective and convenient method for building point-of-care devices for developing countries.

Keywords: bacterial growth; fast Fourier transformation; microfluidics; vision marker.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Culture Media / analysis*
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development*
  • Time Factors


  • Culture Media
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes