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IMS/ATP Rapid Detection Method

What is the IMS/ATP rapid method?

IMS/ATP Rapid Detection Method. The immunomagnetic separation/adenosine triphosphate (IMS/ATP) rapid method requires approximately 1 hour from sample collection to availability of results. Magnetic beads that are coated with antibodies for either Escherichia coli (E. coli) or enterococci are added to a water sample. This mixture is then subjected to IMS, in which the bacteria-antibody-bead complex is separated from extraneous materials in the sample by use of a strong magnet. Following several wash/concentration steps, the bacterial cells are ruptured by an enzymatic process, releasing ATP, which is the energy molecule found in living cells. The amount of ATP in the sample is measured with a microluminometer and results are reported in relative light units (RLUs).


Current Ohio Water Science Center Projects Currently Testing the IMS/ATP Method

Original publication of the method can be found at:

Lee, JiYoung, and Deininger, R.A., 2004, Detection of E. coli in beach water within 1 hour using immunomagnetic separation and ATP bioluminescence: Luminescence, v. 19, p. 31–36.