Cell imprinted polymer electrodes for the identification of bacteria



Project Team

Brian Seddon, Baljit SinghSimon Egan and Eithne Dempsey (MiCRA, ITT Dublin)

Marc Kelly, Niall O’Reilly (PMBRC, WIT)



MICROPRINT research involves the development of a device which encompasses cellular-imprinted polymeric materials integrated with sensing electrodes for the selective capture and numeration of bacterial cells.


This technology targets to replace current practice for quantification of total bio-burden or individual species which is both labour intensive and time-consuming, typically require 18-24 hours for a confirmatory result.


The MiCRA team have developed electrochemical bio-assays and electronic sensors for the detection of bacteria. The prototype device detects the presence of enzymes arising from microbial metabolic pathways. For instance; an Escherichia coli sensor detects β-galactosidase activity, an enzyme involved in lactose fermentation. The sensor limit of detection is <10 E. coli cells per 100 mL in an aqueous sample within 7 hours. The system is also capable of measuring 105 cfu/mL within 2 hours. 


In its present state of development, the MICROPRINT device enables electronic detection and identification of a chosen organism in conjunction with cell count information. This technology is currently being optimised for total viable count (TVC) quantification in pharmaceutics, food and water testing. The technology is also being assessed for continuous on-line/in-line monitoring QA applications in pharma and food production.


Commercial Flyer

For more information on MICROPRINT, contact Brian Seddon