Nelson, Ryan and Lantz, Andrew, "Capillary Electrophoresis Based Microbial Detection and Separation" (2009). Student Summer Scholars. Paper 36.
Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) represents a significant tool for the separation of microorganisms as well as the detection and isolation of Candida albicans (CA) fungus in human blood. There currently exists few rapid means by which biological pathogens can be tested, at low concentration, in blood, and other organic matrices. Other common chromatographic techniques, such as GC, HPLC, IR and MS do not have the capability of analyzing living microorganisms, nor the ability to separate them with any precision. CE offers the rare opportunity to separate individual cells by the charge to size ratio as well as their isoelectric focusing point (pI). Candida albicans fungi was successfully focused and detected in prepared blood samples using surfactant buffer additives to control the cells’ surface charge. A second method was developed using capillary isoelectric focusing to separate bacteria species, namely Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Escherichia coli. The method with which fungus and many other pathogens can be isolated, developed through this study, shows the potential for complete separation cell types within the capillary. These methods will be carried on through further studies of microbial separation using CE and refined.