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Bacteria Detection with Using Mass Spectrometry


Development of a Remote Method for Bacteria Detection with Using Mass Spectrometry

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
ITEF (ITEP), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • State Research Center for Applied Microbiology, Russia, Moscow reg., Obolensk


  • Tufts University, USA, MA, Medford

Project summary

This project is devoted to the use of up-to-date remote method for bacteria detection with using MS for the real-time microbes detection. This method will allow to detect bacteria without contact with biological material and will be very important in a wide range of disciplines, including medical analysis, food and environment. The results of the investigations will enable us to open the new field of the bacteriology – aroma microbiology, and to understand how the smell of biological sample is correlated with the habitation environment and specific features of bacterial composition. It will provide us with a real opportunity to develop and apply to practice specific technologies associated with application of MS to rapid and sensitive analysis of bacterial world.

Project task: The task of this project is to develop a remote method for bacteria detection on the base of mass spectrometry analysis.

The proposed method has the following advantages compared to traditional methods: analysis time is less owing to the exclusion of the stage of bacterial cells reproduction; analysis is less complicated owing to the exclusion of microbiological and biochemical investigations; high sensitivity of mass spectrometry analysis; there is possibility of automatic identification process.

Achieved scientific-and-technical level. Our team has had a core competition in MS (SSC RF ITEP) and the microbiology (SRC AM). In SSC RF ITEP during many years mass spectrometric studies of gaseous samples were conducted. The isotope analysis of some gases, analysis of microquantity of radiation-induced components in gas (methyl hydride) was conducted. In SRC AM works in the field of bacterial detection are intensively conducted. The results of theses investigations were published in international per review journals (Biosensors and Bioelectronics) and were presented at different conferences (including NATO ARW and NATO ASI).

Intermediate results. Special attention will be paid to the development and realization of technology for the analysis of volatile components to discriminate different odors from different bacterial strains. The methods of MS analyses will be essentially updated and adapted for the concrete microbiological investigations, being planned. The scope of the project will include the following activities:

1. Preparation of MS system for odor analysis
2. Analysis of volatile components for classification of different bacterial strains.
3. The study of growth phase during bacterial cultivation by using artificial nose system.
4. Test of the technique for bacterial enumeration in the medium of cultivation.
5. Compare of volatile components from the dead bacteria and from the alive cells.
6. Development of a database based on analysis of gas components of different bacteria for their identification.
7. The study of using one gas component for bacteria detection.
8. Development of the recommendations for microbiological analysis of the samples using the artificial nose system.

This Project is in full compliance with the ISTC goals and objectives. As a result of the project scientific and technical personnel, which was occupied by weapon production and testing, will be orientated on a peaceful activity; the method of remote bacteria detection by using mass spectrometry will be developed. The proposed project belongs to the area of applied research. However, its outcome will make a certain contribution to the area of basic research associated with the studies of mechanisms of classification of complex odors or odor environments with using MS technology, as well as with the development of the concept of remote bacterial analysis.

The role of foreign collaborators in the project - joint forming, discussion and correction of intermediate and final results, some joint investigations and developments, marketing assistance, possible subsequent joint use of developed technologies and of working prototypes of artificial nose system for bacterial analysis.


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