A Continuous Microfluidic Concentrator for High-Sensitivity Detection of Bacteria in Water Sources

Seunghee Choo, Hyunjung Lim, Tae Eun Kim, Jion Park, Kyu Been Park, Chaewon Park, Chae Seung Lim, Jeonghun Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Water contamination is a critical issue that threatens global public health. To enable the rapid and precise monitoring of pathogen contamination in drinking water, a concentration technique for bacterial cells is required to address the limitations of current detection methods, including the culture method and polymerase chain reaction. Here we present a viscoelastic microfluidic device for the continuous concentration of bacterial cells. To validate the device performance for cell concentration, the flow characteristics of 2-μm particles were estimated in viscoelastic fluids at different concentrations and flow rates. Based on the particle flow distributions, the flow rate factor, which is defined as the ratio of the inlet flow rate to the outlet flow rate at the center outlet, was optimized to achieve highly concentrated bacterial cells by removal of the additional suspending medium. The flow characteristics of 0.5-, 0.7-, and 1.0-μm-diameter particles were evaluated to consider the effect of a wide spectrum of bacterial size distribution. Finally, the concentration factor of bacterial cells, Staphylococcus aureus, suspended in a 2000-ppm polyethylene oxide solution was found to be 20.6-fold at a flow rate of 20 μL/min and a flow rate factor of 40.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1093
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A2C1014460) and by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project through the Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HR20C0021).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • bacteria
  • concentration
  • viscoelastic fluid
  • water contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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