Early detection and identification of microbial contaminants is crucial in many sectors, including clinical diagnostics, food quality control and environmental monitoring. Biosensors have recently gained attention among other bacterial detection technologies due to their simplicity, rapid response, selectivity, and integration/miniaturization potential in portable microfluidic platforms. However, biosensors are limited to the analysis of small sample volumes, and pre-concentration steps are necessary to reach the low sensitivity levels of few bacteria per mL required in the analysis of real clinical, industrial or environmental samples. Many platforms already exist where bacterial detection and separation/accumulation systems are integrated in a single platform, but they have not been compiled and critically analysed. This review reports on most recent advances in bacterial concentration/detection platforms with emphasis on the concentration strategy. Systems based on five concentration strategies, i.e. centrifugation, filtration, magnetic separation, electric separation or acoustophoresis, are here presented and compared in terms of processed sample volume, concentration efficiency, concentration time, ability to work with different types of samples, and integration potential, among others. The critical evaluation presented in the review is envision to facilitate the development of future platforms for fast, sensitive and in situ bacterial detection in real sample.
- Sample processing