Nanophotonic Cell Lysis and Polymerase Chain Reaction with Gravity-Driven Cell Enrichment for Rapid Detection of Pathogens

Byungrae Cho, Sang Hun Lee, Jihwan Song, Saptati Bhattacharjee, Jeffrey Feng, Soongweon Hong, Minsun Song, Wonseok Kim, Jonghwan Lee, Doyeon Bang, Bowen Wang, Lee W. Riley, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Rapid and precise detection of pathogens is a critical step in the prevention and identification of emergencies related to health and biosafety as well as the clinical management of community-acquired urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted diseases. However, a conventional culture-based pathogen diagnostic method is time-consuming, permitting physicians to use antibiotics without ample clinical data. Here, we present a nanophotonic Light-driven Integrated cell lysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on a chip with Gravity-driven cell enrichment Health Technology (LIGHT) for rapid precision detection of pathogens (<20 min). We created the LIGHT, which has the three functions of (1) selective enrichment of pathogens, (2) photothermal cell lysis, and (3) photonic PCR on a chip. We designed the gravity-driven cell enrichment via a nanoporous membrane on a chip that allows an effective bacterial enrichment of 40 000-fold from a 1 mL sample in 2 min. We established a light-driven photothermal lysis of preconcentrated bacteria within 1 min by designing the network of nanoplasmonic optical antenna on a chip for ultrafast light-to-heat conversion, created the nanoplasmonic optical antenna network-based ultrafast photonic PCR on a chip, and identified Escherichia coli. Finally, we demonstrated the end-point detection of up to 103 CFU/mL of E. coli in 10 min. We believe that our nanophotonic LIGHT will provide rapid and precise identification of pathogens in both developing and developed countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13866-13874
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - 24 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • lab-on-a-chip
  • molecular diagnostics
  • photothermal lysis
  • plasmonics
  • rapid photonic PCR
  • sample enrichment
  • urinary tract infection (UTI)


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