Monday, May 7, 2018

Abstract-Label‐free bacterial colony detection and viability assessment by continuous‐wave terahertz transmission imaging

Xiang Yang,   Jia Shi,  Yuye Wang,   Ke Yang,   Xiang Zhao,   Guiyu Wang,   Degang Xu,   Yunxia Wang,  Jianquan Yao,   Weiling Fu,

Timely and accurate bacterial detection is critical for various health and safety applications, which promotes the continuous development of versatile optical sensors for bacterial investigations. Here, we report a new strategy for bacterial colony sensing using terahertz (THz) imaging with minimal assay procedures. The proposed method utilizes the acute sensitivity of THz wave to the changes in the water content and cellular structures. Single bacterial colonies of four bacterial species were directly distinguished using THz imaging by utilizing their differences in THz absorption. In addition, the distribution of mixed bacterial samples has been demonstrated by THz imaging, which demonstrated that the target bacterium could be easily recognized. Furthermore, we investigated the differentiation of bacterial viability, which indicated that bacteria under different living states could be distinguished by THz imaging because of their different hydration levels and cellular structures. Our results suggest that THz imaging has the potential to be used for mixed bacterial sample detection and bacterial viability assessment in a label‐free and nondestructive manner.

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