Quantitative assessment of methods for bacterial and viral purification and concentration

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Fraticelli-Guzman, Nina Sara
Forest, Craig R.
Farrell, Mike
Hu, David L.
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From water pathogen detection, SARS-CoV-2 detection, to biological weapon detection, the samples we analyze include much more than our target organism. To accurately detect our targets of choice, the use of various labor intensive, and at times costly techniques, have been used to purify and concentrate the target organism. In this work, we evaluate quick and easily implementable techniques for viral and bacterial purification and concentration. These methods are more cost effective and amenable towards automation, allowing for a decrease in not just cost, but also labor time. The research presented here characterizes the applicability of syringe filters and a tangential flow filtration device for the purification and concentration of bacteria and virus samples, respectively. Furthermore, automation of such systems were explored. We developed a fully automated method for double filter filtration to enable hands-free purification and concentration of bacteria in 5.5 minutes from 5 mL of input volume yielding a 42 ± 13-fold enrichment improvement (n = 3). Furthermore, the purification and concentration of virus using a manually operated tangential flow filtration device was also explored and yielded modest concentration increases of around 2× with a 1,916 ± 1,839-fold (n = 3) enrichment improvement under one configuration.
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