Dielectrophoresis microbial characterization and isolation of Staphylococcus aureus based on optimum crossover frequency

Arash Zulkarnain Ahmad Rozaini, Abdullah Abdulhameed, Revathy Deivasigamani, Nurulhuda Nadzreen, Noraziah Mohamad Zin, Amin Ahmad Kayani, Muhamad Ramdzan Buyong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Characterization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a significant concern that persists for the rapid classification and analysis of the bacteria. A technology that utilizes the manipulation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is key to solving the significant threat of these pathogenic bacteria by rapid characterization profile. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) can differentiate between antibiotic-resistant and susceptible bacteria based on their physical structure and polarization properties. In this work, the DEP response of two Gram-positive bacteria, namely, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), was investigated and simulated. The DEP characterization was experimentally observed on the bacteria influenced by oxacillin and vancomycin antibiotics. MSSA control without antibiotics has crossover frequencies ((Figure presented.)) from 6 to 8 MHz, whereas MRSA control is from 2 to 3 MHz. The (Figure presented.) changed when bacteria were exposed to the antibiotic. As for MSSA, the (Figure presented.) decreased to 3.35 MHz compared to (Figure presented.) MSSA control without antibiotics, MRSA, (Figure presented.) increased to 7 MHz when compared to MRSA control. The changes in the DEP response of MSSA and MRSA with and without antibiotics were theoretically proven using MyDEP and COMSOL simulation and experimentally based on the modification to the bacteria cell walls. Thus, the DEP response can be employed as a label-free detectable method to sense and differentiate between resistant and susceptible strains with different antibiotic profiles. The developed method can be implemented on a single platform to analyze and identify bacteria for rapid, scalable, and accurate characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1220-1233
Number of pages14
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • antibiotic resistance
  • dielectrophoresis
  • microbial characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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