BACTERIA-ON-A-CHIP: Deciphering the responsiveness of bacteria using microfluidic chemostats
Léa Bernier a, Pilar Junier b, Guy-Bart Stan a, Claire Stanley a
a Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
b University of Neuchâtel, Rue Emile-Argand 11, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Proceedings of Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC)
Online, Spain, 2021 July 20th - 21st
Organizers: Adrian Nightingale, Darius Rackus and Claire Stanley
Poster, Léa Bernier, 044
Publication date: 5th July 2021

Observation of cells is at the core of biological research. Microfluidic technologies are making it possible to continuously monitor cells individually, over long periods of time, revealing behaviours that would be masked in whole populations or without observation in real time. The poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) devices developed in this project are designed to culture and observe bacteria in an array of microchemostats under a variety of controlled conditions. The design of the microfluidic device consists of an array of microchambers in which single cells or small populations are trapped. Defined zones are then exposed to different conditions such as chemical concentration gradients and imaged over time. The responsiveness of cells to stimuli can hence be investigated at the individual level. In a series of proof-of-concept experiments, co-cultures of engineered bacteria as well as germination of endospores have been observed in the device. We envisage that this technology will enable new frontiers in microbiome research to be reached.

This work is supported by the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London.

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