Acoustic Trapping for Bacteria Identification in Positive Blood Cultures with MALDI-TOF MS.

Björn Hammarström, Bo Nilson, Thomas Laurell, Johan Nilsson, Simon Ekström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is currently changing the clinical routine for identification of microbial pathogens. One important application is the rapid identification of bacteria for the diagnosis of bloodstream infections (BSI). A novel approach based on acoustic trapping and an integrated selective enrichment target (ISET) microchip that improves the sample preparation step for this type of analysis is presented. The method is evaluated on clinically relevant samples in the form of Escherichia coli infected blood cultures. It is shown that noncontact acoustic trapping enables capture, enrichment, and washing of bacteria directly from the complex background of crude blood cultures. The technology replaces centrifugation-based separation with a faster and highly automated sample preparation method that minimizes manual handling of hazardous pathogens. The presented method includes a solid phase extraction step that was optimized for enrichment of the bacterial proteins and peptides that are used for bacterial identification. The acoustic trapping-based assay provided correct identification in 12 out 12 cases of E. coli positive blood cultures with an average score of 2.19 ± 0.09 compared to 1.98 ± 0.08 when using the standard assay. This new technology opens up the possibility to automate and speed up an important and widely used diagnostic assay for bloodstream infections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10560-10567
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Analytical Chemistry


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