In JoVE (1)
Articles by Manuel Bedrossian in JoVE
Quantifying Microorganisms at Low Concentrations Using Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) Manuel Bedrossian1, Casey Barr2, Chris A. Lindensmith3, Kenneth Nealson2, Jay L. Nadeau1 1Department of Medical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) is a volumetric technique that allows imaging samples 50-100X thicker than brightfield microscopy at comparable resolution, with focusing performed post-processing. Here DHM is used for identifying, counting, and tracking microorganisms at very low densities and compared with optical density measurements, plate count, and direct count.
Other articles by Manuel Bedrossian on PubMed
A Submersible, Off-Axis Holographic Microscope for Detection of Microbial Motility and Morphology in Aqueous and Icy Environments PloS One. | Pubmed ID: 26812683 Sea ice is an analog environment for several of astrobiology's near-term targets: Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and perhaps other Jovian or Saturnian moons. Microorganisms, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic, remain active within brine channels inside the ice, making it unnecessary to penetrate through to liquid water below in order to detect life. We have developed a submersible digital holographic microscope (DHM) that is capable of resolving individual bacterial cells, and demonstrated its utility for immediately imaging samples taken directly from sea ice at several locations near Nuuk, Greenland. In all samples, the appearance and motility of eukaryotes were conclusive signs of life. The appearance of prokaryotic cells alone was not sufficient to confirm life, but when prokaryotic motility occurred, it was rapid and conclusive. Warming the samples to above-freezing temperatures or supplementing with serine increased the number of motile cells and the speed of motility; supplementing with serine also stimulated chemotaxis. These results show that DHM is a useful technique for detection of active organisms in extreme environments, and that motility may be used as a biosignature in the liquid brines that persist in ice. These findings have important implications for the design of missions to icy environments and suggest ways in which DHM imaging may be integrated with chemical life-detection suites in order to create more conclusive life detection packages.
Digital Holographic Microscopy, a Method for Detection of Microorganisms in Plume Samples from Enceladus and Other Icy Worlds Astrobiology. | Pubmed ID: 28708412 Detection of extant microbial life on Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System requires the ability to identify and enumerate micrometer-scale, essentially featureless cells. On Earth, bacteria are usually enumerated by culture plating or epifluorescence microscopy. Culture plates require long incubation times and can only count culturable strains, and epifluorescence microscopy requires extensive staining and concentration of the sample and instrumentation that is not readily miniaturized for space. Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) represents an alternative technique with no moving parts and higher throughput than traditional microscopy, making it potentially useful in space for detection of extant microorganisms provided that sufficient numbers of cells can be collected. Because sample collection is expected to be the limiting factor for space missions, especially to outer planets, it is important to quantify the limits of detection of any proposed technique for extant life detection. Here we use both laboratory and field samples to measure the limits of detection of an off-axis digital holographic microscope (DHM). A statistical model is used to estimate any instrument's probability of detection at various bacterial concentrations based on the optical performance characteristics of the instrument, as well as estimate the confidence interval of detection. This statistical model agrees well with the limit of detection of 10(3) cells/mL that was found experimentally with laboratory samples. In environmental samples, active cells were immediately evident at concentrations of 10(4) cells/mL. Published estimates of cell densities for Enceladus plumes yield up to 10(4) cells/mL, which are well within the off-axis DHM's limits of detection to confidence intervals greater than or equal to 95%, assuming sufficient sample volumes can be collected. The quantitative phase imaging provided by DHM allowed minerals to be distinguished from cells. Off-axis DHM's ability for rapid low-level bacterial detection and counting shows its viability as a technique for detection of extant microbial life provided that the cells can be captured intact and delivered to the sample chamber in a sufficient volume of liquid for imaging. Key Words: In situ life detection-Extant microorganisms-Holographic microscopy-Ocean Worlds-Enceladus-Imaging. Astrobiology 17, 913-925.