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Bacterial Concentration Detection using a PCB-based Contactless Conductivity Sensor

State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0021, Japan
Department of Applied Chemistry & Institute of Molecular Science, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(1), 55;
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Cell and Other Organisms)
PDF [1745 KB, uploaded 15 January 2019]


Capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C4D) is an improved approach to avoid the problems of labor-intensive, time-consuming and insufficient accuracy of plate count as well as the high-cost apparatus of flow cytometry (FCM) in bacterial counting. This article describes a novel electrode-integrated printed-circuit-board (PCB)-based C4D device, which supports the simple and safe exchange of capillaries and improves the sensitivity and repeatability of the contactless detection. Furthermore, no syringe pump is needed in the detection, it reduces the system size, and, more importantly, avoids the effect on the bacteria due to high pressure. The recovered bacteria after C4D detection at excitation of 25 Vpp and 60–120 kHz were analyzed by flow cytometry, and a survival rate higher than 96% was given. It was verified that C4D detection did not influence the bacterial viability. Moreover, bacteria concentrations from 106 cells/mL to 108 cells/mL were measured in a linear range, and relative standard deviation (RSD) is below 0.2%. In addition, the effects on bacteria and C4D from background solutions were discussed. In contrast to common methods used in most laboratories, this method may provide a simple solution to in situ detection of bacterial cultures. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial concentration; capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C4D); capillary; E. coli; printed-circuit-board (PCB) bacterial concentration; capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C4D); capillary; E. coli; printed-circuit-board (PCB)

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, X.-Y.; Li, Z.-Y.; Zhang, Y.; Zang, X.-Q.; Ueno, K.; Misawa, H.; Sun, K. Bacterial Concentration Detection using a PCB-based Contactless Conductivity Sensor. Micromachines 2019, 10, 55.

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