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Rapid (<5 min) identification of pathogen in human blood by electrokinetic concentration and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

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This study reports a novel microfluidic platform for rapid and long-ranged concentration of rare-pathogen from human blood for subsequent on-chip surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) identification/discrimination of bacteria based on their detected fingerprints. Using a hybrid electrokinetic mechanism, bacteria can be concentrated at the stagnation area on the SERS-active roughened electrode, while blood cells were excluded away from this region at the center of concentric circular electrodes. This electrokinetic approach performs isolation and concentration of bacteria in about three minutes; the density factor is increased approximately a thousand fold in a local area of ~5000 μm(2) from a low bacteria concentration of 5 × 10(3) CFU/ml. Besides, three genera of bacteria, S. aureus, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa that are found in most of the isolated infections in bacteremia were successfully identified in less than one minute on-chip without the use of any antibody/chemical immobilization and reaction processes.

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