Colorimetric / fluorescent bacterial sensing by agarose-embedded lipid / polydiacetylene films

D. Meir, L. Silbert, R. Volinsky, S. Kolusheva, I. Weiser, R. Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aim: Development of a new chromatic (colorimetric/fluorescence) bacterial sensor, for rapid, sensitive and versatile detection of bacterial proliferation. Methods and Results: We constructed agarose-embedded chromatic films which produce dramatic colour changes and fluorescence transformations in response to bacterial growth. The sensing constructs comprise glass-supported Langmuir-Schaeffer phospholipid/polydiacetylene films that undergo both blue-red transformations and induction of intense fluorescence following interactions with bacterially secreted amphiphilic compounds that diffuse through the agarose. The agarose matrix coating the sensor film further contains growth nutrients, facilitating signal amplification through promotion of bacterial culture proliferation. The agarose layer also constitutes an effective barrier for reducing background signals not associated with the bacteria. We demonstrate the applications of the new sensor for the detection of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, and for screening specimens of physiological fluids (blood and urine) and foods (meat) for bacterial contaminations. Conclusions: The experiments demonstrate that the new agarose-embedded film constructs are capable of bacterial detection through visible colour transitions and fluorescence emission recorded in conventional apparatuses. Significance and Impact of the Study: This work demonstrated a new simple chromatic platform for bacterial detection, based on the generation of easily recorded colour and fluorescence changes. The new bacterial detection scheme is highly generic and could be employed for varied practical uses, in which, rapid reporting on bacterial presence is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-795
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Bacterial detection
  • Bacterial sensors
  • Langmuir-Schaeffer films
  • Membrane active molecules
  • Polydiacetylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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