Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy has been utilized to classify and identify bacterial specimens on the basis of their atomic composition. We have characterized the effect that the presence of a second bacterial species in the ablated specimen had on the identification of the majority species. Specimens with a reduced number of bacterial cells (approximately 2500) were identified with 100% accuracy when compared to undiluted specimens. In addition, a linear dependence of the total spectral power as a function of cell number was determined. Lastly, a high selectivity was obtained for a LIBS-based analysis of nine separate bacterial strains from four genera.
Rehse, Steven J.; Mohaidat, Q.I.; and Palchaudhuri, S.. (2010). Towards the clinical application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for rapid pathogen diagnosis: The effect of mixed cultures and sample dilution on bacterial identification. Applied Optics, 49 (13), C27-C35.