© 2018 American Chemical Society. Existing clinical methods for bacteria detection lack speed, sensitivity, and, importantly, point-of-care (PoC) applicability. Thus, finding ways to push the sensitivity of clinical PoC biosensing technologies is crucial. Here we report a portable PoC device based on lens-free interferometric microscopy (LIM). The device employs high performance nanoplasmonics and custom bioprinted microarrays and is capable of direct label-free bacteria (E. coli) quantification. With only one-step sample handling we offer a sample-to-data turnaround time of 40 min. Our technology features detection sensitivity of a single bacterial cell both in buffer and in diluted blood plasma and is intrinsically limited by the number of cells present in the detection volume. When employed in a hospital setting, the device has enabled accurate categorization of sepsis patients (infectious SIRS) from control groups (healthy individuals and noninfectious SIRS patients) without false positives/negatives. User-friendly on-site bacterial clinical diagnosis can thus become a reality.
- label-free detection
- plasma samples