Plants on chips – microfluidic devices for live imaging of organ development and root-environment interactions
Marjorie Guichard a, Enric Bertran Garcia De Olalla b, Claire Stanley c, Guido Grossmann a
a Institute of Cell and Interaction Biology, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
b Centre for Organismal Studies, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
c Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Proceedings of Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC)
Online, Spain, 2021 July 20th - 21st
Organizers: Adrian Nightingale, Darius Rackus and Claire Stanley
Oral, Marjorie Guichard, presentation 023
Publication date: 5th July 2021

Plant roots grow in highly heterogeneous environments where they need to locally adapt their architecture to optimally absorb nutrients and water, interact with pathogenic and symbiotic microbes, and cope with diverse abiotic stress conditions. We investigate plastic adaptation of root development and intercellular communication in response to changing environmental conditions. To enable microscopic studies of root-environment interactions, we are developing RootChips. This technology integrates microfluidic perfusion and imaging platforms that combine on-chip root cultivation, microscopic access and precise control over the root microenvironment. Here I will summarize recent developments in the field to control the root microenvironment using microfluidics. The production of microfluidic devices using 3D printing technology will be discussed. I will also present our latest efforts to investigate how roots perceive environmental complexity, respond to local physical stimuli and develop under asymmetric conditions.

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