Current bacterial detection techniques are relatively slow, require bulky instrumentation, and usually require some form of specialized training. The gold standard for bacterial detection is culture testing, which can take several days to receive a viable result. Therefore, simpler detection techniques that are both fast and sensitive could greatly improve bacterial detection and identification. Here, we present a new method for the detection of the bacteria Helicobacter hepaticus
using whispering-gallery mode (WGM) optical microcavity-based sensors. Due to minimal reflection losses and low material adsorption, WGM-based sensors have ultra-high quality factors, resulting in high-sensitivity sensor devices. In this study, we have shown that bacteria can be non-specifically detected using WGM optical microcavity-based sensors. The minimum detection for the device was 1 × 104
cells/mL, and the minimum time of detection was found to be 750 s. Given that a cell density as low as 1 × 103
cells/mL for Helicobacter hepaticus
can cause infection, the limit of detection shown here would be useful for most levels where Helicobacter hepaticus
is biologically relevant. This study suggests a new approach for H. hepaticus detection using label-free optical sensors that is faster than, and potentially as sensitive as, standard techniques.
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