Dielectrophoresis (DEP) has been regarded as a useful tool for manipulating biological cells prior to the detection of cells. Since DEP uses high AC electrical fields, it is important to examine whether these electrical fields in any way damage cells or affect their characteristics in subsequent analytical procedures. In this study, we investigated the effects of DEP manipulation on the characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes cells, including the immuno-reactivity to several Listeria-specific antibodies, the cell growth profile in liquid medium, and the cell viability on selective agar plates. It was found that a 1-h DEP treatment increased the cell immuno-reactivity to the commercial Listeria species-specific polyclonal antibodies (from KPL) by ∼31.8% and to the C11E9 monoclonal antibodies by ∼82.9%, whereas no significant changes were observed with either anti-InlB or anti-ActA antibodies. A 1-h DEP treatment did not cause any change in the growth profile of Listeria in the low conductive growth medium (LCGM); however, prolonged treatments (4 h or greater) caused significant delays in cell growth. The results of plating methods showed that a 4-h DEP treatment (5 MHz, 20 Vpp) reduced the viable cell numbers by 56.8-89.7 %. These results indicated that DEP manipulation may or may not affect the final detection signal in immuno-based detection depending on the type of antigen-antibody reaction involved. However, prolonged DEP treatment for manipulating bacterial cells could produce negative effects on the cell detection by growth-based methods. Careful selection of DEP operation conditions could avoid or minimize negative effects on subsequent cell detection performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Biological Engineering
StatePublished - Apr 16 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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