Nanotube assisted microwave electroporation for single cell pathogen identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing

Jian Gao, Hui Li, Peter Torab, Kathleen E. Mach, David W. Craft, Neal J. Thomas, Chris M. Puleo, Joseph C. Liao, Tza Huei Wang, Pak Kin Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A nanotube assisted microwave electroporation (NAME) technique is demonstrated for delivering molecular biosensors into viable bacteria for multiplex single cell pathogen identification to advance rapid diagnostics in clinical microbiology. Due to the small volume of a bacterial cell (~femtoliter), the intracellular concentration of the target molecule is high, which results in a strong signal for single cell detection without amplification. The NAME procedure can be completed in as little as 30 minutes and can achieve over 90% transformation efficiency. We demonstrate the feasibility of NAME for identifying clinical isolates of bloodborne and uropathogenic pathogens and detecting bacterial pathogens directly from patient's samples. In conjunction with a microfluidic single cell trapping technique, NAME allows single cell pathogen identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing concurrently. Using this approach, the time for microbiological analysis reduces from days to hours, which will have a significant impact on the clinical management of bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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