A single-tube approach for in vitro diagnostics using diatomaceous earth and optical sensor

Fei Zhao, Bonhan Koo, Huifang Liu, Choong Eun Jin, Yong Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Versatile, simple and efficient sample preparation is desirable for point-of-care testing of emerging diseases such as zoonoses, but current sample preparation assays are insensitive, labour-intensive and time-consuming and require multiple instruments. We developed a single-tube sample preparation approach involving direct pathogen enrichment and extraction from human specimens using diatomaceous earth (DE). Amine-modified DE was used to directly enrich a zoonotic pathogen, Brucella, in a large sample volume. Next, a complex of amine-modified DE and dimethyl suberimidate was used for nucleic acid extraction from the enriched pathogen. Using our single-tube approach, the pathogen can be enriched and extracted within 60 min at a level of 1 colony formation unit (CFU) from a 1 ml sample volume in the same tube. The performance of this approach is 10–100 times better than that of a commercial kit (102 to 103 CFU/ml) but does not require a large centrifuge. Finally, we combined the single-tube approach with a bio-optical sensor for rapid and accurate zoonotic pathogen detection in human urine samples. Using the combination system, Brucella in human urine can be efficiently enriched (~ 8-fold) and the detection limit is enhanced by up to 100 times (1 CFU/ml bacteria in urine) compared with the commercial kit. This combined system is fast and highly sensitive and thus represents a promising approach for disease diagnosis in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-449
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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