Multiparameter antibiotic resistance detection based on hydrodynamic trapping of individual E. coli

Giampaolo Pitruzzello*, Stephen Thorpe, Steven Johnson, Adrian Evans, Hermes Gadêlha, Thomas F. Krauss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an urgent need to develop novel methods for assessing the response of bacteria to antibiotics in a timely manner. Antibiotics are traditionally assessed via their effect on bacteria in a culture medium, which takes 24-48 h and exploits only a single parameter, i.e. growth. Here, we present a multiparameter approach at the single-cell level that takes approximately an hour from spiking the culture to correctly classify susceptible and resistant strains. By hydrodynamically trapping hundreds of bacteria, we simultaneously monitor the evolution of motility and morphology of individual bacteria upon drug administration. We show how this combined detection method provides insights into the activity of antimicrobials at the onset of their action which single parameter and traditional tests cannot offer. Our observations complement the current growth-based methods and highlight the need for future antimicrobial susceptibility tests to take multiple parameters into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1426
Number of pages10
JournalLab on a chip
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2019.

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