Bacteria Detection at a Single-Cell Level through a Cyanotype-Based Photochemical Reaction

Jiri Dietvorst, Amparo Ferrer-Vilanova, Sharath Narayana Iyengar, Aman Russom, Núria Vigués, Jordi Mas, Lluïsa Vilaplana, Maria Pilar Marco, Gonzalo Guirado*, Xavier Muñoz-Berbel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The detection of living organisms at very low concentrations is necessary for the early diagnosis of bacterial infections, but it is still challenging as there is a need for signal amplification. Cell culture, nucleic acid amplification, or nanostructure-based signal enhancement are the most common amplification methods, relying on long, tedious, complex, or expensive procedures. Here, we present a cyanotype-based photochemical amplification reaction enabling the detection of low bacterial concentrations up to a single-cell level. Photocatalysis is induced with visible light and requires bacterial metabolism of iron-based compounds to produce Prussian Blue. Bacterial activity is thus detected through the formation of an observable blue precipitate within 3 h of the reaction, which corresponds to the concentration of living organisms. The short time-to-result and simplicity of the reaction are expected to strongly impact the clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-792
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022


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