Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Sub-Micron Traps for Single-Cell Analysis of Bacteria

TitlePolydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Sub-Micron Traps for Single-Cell Analysis of Bacteria
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsProbst, C, Grünberger, A, Wiechert, W, Kohlheyer, D
Date Published11 October 2013
KeywordsBacteria, E. coli, Microfluidics, Single-Cell Analysis

Microfluidics has become an essential tool in single-cell analysis assays for gaining more accurate insights into cell behavior. Various microfluidics methods have been introduced facilitating single-cell analysis of a broad range of cell types. However, the study of prokaryotic cells such as Escherichia coli and others still faces the challenge of achieving proper single-cell immobilization simply due to their small size and often fast growth rates. Recently, new approaches were presented to investigate bacteria growing in monolayers and single-cell tracks under environmental control. This allows for high-resolution time-lapse observation of cell proliferation, cell morphology and fluorescence-coupled bioreporters. Inside microcolonies, interactions between nearby cells are likely and may cause interference during perturbation studies. In this paper, we present a microfluidic device containing hundred sub-micron sized trapping barrier structures for single E. coli cells. Descendant cells are rapidly washed away as well as components secreted by growing cells. Experiments show excellent growth rates, indicating high cell viability. Analyses of elongation and growth rates as well as morphology were successfully performed. This device will find application in prokaryotic single-cell studies under constant environment where by-product interference is undesired.