Abstract

It is important to monitor and assess the growth of micro-organisms under various conditions. Yet, thus far there has been no technique to do this with the required speed and accuracy. This work demonstrates swift and accurate assessment of the concentration of carbon dioxide that is produced by use of a wavelength-modulated tunable diode-laser based absorption spectroscopy (WM-TDLAS). It is shown by experiments on two types of bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, that the technique can produce high signal-to-noise-ratio data from bacteria grown in confined spaces and exposed to limited amounts of nutrients that can be used for extraction of growth parameters by fitting of the Gompertz model. By applying the technique to S. aureus bacteria at various temperatures (in the 25°C to 42°C range), it is specifically shown that both the maximum growth rate and the so-called lag time have a strong temperature dependence (under the specific conditions with a maximum of the former at 37°C) that matches conventional models well for bacterial growth. Hence, it is demonstrated that WM-TDLAS monitoring CO2 is a user-friendly, non-intrusive, and label-free technique that swiftly, and with high signal-to-noise-ratio, can be used for rapid (on the Hz scale) and accurate assessment of bacterial growth.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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