Journal article

Generating Controlled, Dynamic Chemical Landscapes to Study Microbial Behavior

Francesco Carrara, Douglas R Brumley, Andrew M Hein, Yutaka Yawata, M Mehdi Salek, Kang Soo Lee, Elzbieta Sliwerska, Simon A Levin, Roman Stocker

Journal of Visualized Experiments | JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS | Published : 2020


We demonstrate a method for the generation of controlled, dynamic chemical pulses-where localized chemoattractant becomes suddenly available at the microscale-to create micro-environments for microbial chemotaxis experiments. To create chemical pulses, we developed a system to introduce amino acid sources near-instantaneously by photolysis of caged amino acids within a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chamber containing a bacterial suspension. We applied this method to the chemotactic bacterium, Vibrio ordalii, which can actively climb these dynamic chemical gradients while being tracked by video microscopy. Amino acids, rendered biologically inert ('caged') by chemical modification ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Gordon and Betty Moore Marine Microbial Initiative Investigator Award

Awarded by Swiss National Science Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank the FIRST microfabrication facility at ETH Zurich. This work was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award DE180100911 (to D.R.B.), a Gordon and Betty Moore Marine Microbial Initiative Investigator Award GBMF3783 (to R.S.), and a Swiss National Science Foundation grant 1-002745-000 (to R.S.).