In this study, the authors propose a new bacteria detection method using a carbon nanotube (CNT) gas sensor and a microheater, which were coupled into a Bio-MEMS (microelectromechanical systems)-type device. Bacteria were heated by the microheater in air so that ammonia (NH3) gas can be generated by the oxidation reaction of organic components of bacteria. Thus generated NH 3 gas was detected by using the CNT gas sensor, which was fabricated by dielectrophoresis (DEP) and combined with the microheater to form a small chamber. Cyclic pulsed heating operation was employed so that the CNT response to elevated temperature did not mask NH3 response. It was demonstrated that the proposed device could detect and quantify 107 bacteria cells (Escherichia coli). Possible application of DEP to trap and enrich target bacteria on the microheater was also discussed.
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