Rapid Detection of Proliferative Bacteria by Electrical Stimulation

Bio Protoc. 2020 Feb 5;10(3):e3508. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3508.


Detecting live bacteria is an important task for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) in the medical sector and for quality-monitoring in biological industries. Current methods for live-bacteria detection suffer limitations in speed or sensitivity. In a recent paper, we reported that electrical response dynamics in membrane potential enable single-cell rapid detection of live bacteria. The electrical response can be observed within a minute after electrical stimulation. Thus, it has potential in accelerating AST and the monitoring of biological samples. This method also enables experiments for biophysical and microbiological investigations into bacterial electrophysiology. With the hope that more researchers, scientists and engineers will use electrical stimulation for their assays, here we detail each step of the electrical stimulation experiment.

Keywords: Anti-microbial resistance (AMR); Bacterial detection; Bacterial electrophysiology; Cell biophysics; Cell vitality assay; Membrane potential.