Label-Free Detection of Single Living Bacteria via Electrochemical Collision Event

Ji Young Lee, Byung Kwon Kim, Mijeong Kang, Jun Hui Park

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74 Scopus citations


We detected single living bacterial cells on ultramicroelectrode (UME) using a single-particle collision method and optical microscopic methods. The number of collision events involving the bacterial cells indicated in current-time (i-t) curves corresponds to the number of bacterial cells (i.e., Escherichia coli) on the UME surface, as observed visually. Simulations were performed to determine the theoretical current response (75 pA) and frequency (0.47 pM -1 s -1) of single Escherichia coli collisions. The experimental current response (83 pA) and frequency (0.26 pM -1 s -1) were on the same order of magnitude as the theoretical values. This single-particle collision approach facilitates detecting living bacteria and determining their concentration in solution and could be widely applied to studying other bacteria and biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30022
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work acknowledges the support from Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2013R1A1A1059719, NRF-2015R1C1A1A01055250), the Research Fund of Chonbuk National University in 2013, and the Sookmyung Women's University Research Grants (1-1603-2004). We thank Dr. Yeonwoo Kim for helpful discussion.


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