What is ATP and how can you use it to measure bacteria?
ATP is the "energy currency" of all living cells and degrades rapidly when a cell dies. Because of this property, ATP serves as a biomarker for living organisms in a sample and can be used to quantitate the live microbes present.
What is bioluminescence?
Many living organisms, including fireflies, release light energy from chemical reactions. These reactions are catalyzed by proteins in the cell called luciferases, and they require oxygen, ATP and a luciferase substrate. The bioluminescent reaction can be harnessed to detect the required components (such as ATP) in the environment.
How Does ATP Measurement Compare to Other Forms of Microbial Detection?
Most common methods for detecting microbes in water measure biofouling potential (TDC, AOC or BDOC) or the development of biofouling (pressure drop or BFR). Heterotrophic plate counting directly measures viable microbes, but it is slow and detects less than 10% of viable bacteria. Flow cytometry and PCR improve turnaround time and accuracy but neither method directly measures live bacteria. ATP detection is the only method that directly assesses living cells from any type of microbe, providing an immediate indication of microbial contamination in your sample.
Will the Water-Glo™ Kit Identify What Kind of Contaminants Are in My Sample?
No. The Water-Glo™ Kit detects the presence of living organisms, but does not identify the species. It can be used as an early detection system, and if a bioluminescent signal is detected, other methods, such as PCR or NGS, may be used to identify the specific organism.
Does the Water-Glo™ Kit Allow Me to Perform Assays in Batches?
Yes! The Water-Glo™ chemistry is available in a variety of formats. You can perform single-tube assays or use our larger kit to perform batch assays in 96-well plates. If you need continual, online monitoring of process or industrial water, the Water-Glo™ chemistry is even available as part of the Applitek EZ-ATP® Analyzer. If none of these meet your needs, please contact us to discuss opportunities for custom options.