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Anal Chem. 2009 Jul 1;81(13):5426-32. doi: 10.1021/ac9005827.

Multiplexed detection of bacteria and toxins using a microflow cytometer.

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Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA.


A microfabricated flow cytometer was used to demonstrate multiplexed detection of bacteria and toxins using fluorescent coded microspheres. Antibody-coated microspheres bound biothreat targets in a sandwich immunoassay format. The microfluidic cytometer focused the microspheres in three dimensions within the laser interrogation region using passive groove structures to surround the sample stream with sheath fluid. Optical analysis at four different wavelengths identified the coded microspheres and quantified target bound by the presence of phycoerythrin tracer. The multiplexed assays in the microflow cytometer had performance approaching that of a commercial benchtop flow cytometer. The respective limits of detection for bacteria (Escherichia coli, Listeria, and Salmonella) were found to be 10(3), 10(5), and 10(4) cfu/mL for the microflow cytometer and 10(3), 10(6), and 10(5) cfu/mL for the commercial system. Limits of detection for the toxins (cholera toxin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, and ricin) were 1.6, 0.064, and 1.6 ng/mL for the microflow cytometer and 1.6, 0.064, and 8.0 ng/mL for the commercial system.

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