Fast label-free identification of bacteria by synchronous fluorescence of amino acids

Yaniv Shlosberg, Yair Farber, Salah Hasson, Valery Bulatov, Israel Schechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fast identification of pathogenic bacteria is an essential need for patient’s diagnostic in hospitals and environmental monitoring of water and air quality. Bacterial cells consist of a very high amount of biological molecules whose content changes in response to different environmental conditions. The similarity between the molecular compositions of different bacterial cells limits the possibility to find unique markers to enable differentiation among species. Although many biological molecules in the cells absorb at the UV-Vis region, only a few of them can be detected in whole cells by their intrinsic fluorescence. Among these molecules are the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. In this work, we develop a rapid method for bacterial identification by synchronous fluorescence. We show that we can quantify the concentration for the 3 amino acids without any significant interference from other fluorophores in the cells and that we can differentiate among 6 pathogenic bacterial species by using the concentrations of their amino acids as a bacterial fingerprint. Fluorescent amino acids exist in all living cells. Therefore, this method has the potential to be applicative for the rapid identification of cells from all kinds of organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6857-6866
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acids
  • Bacteria
  • Identification
  • Synchronous fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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