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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Digital Microfluidics for Single Bacteria Capture and Selective Retrieval Using Optical Tweezers

Department of Biosystems, Biosensors Group, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
ESAT-MICAS, Microelectronics and Sensors, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally.
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 308;
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 14 March 2020 / Published: 15 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microfluidic Devices 2019)
When screening microbial populations or consortia for interesting cells, their selective retrieval for further study can be of great interest. To this end, traditional fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and optical tweezers (OT) enabled methods have typically been used. However, the former, although allowing cell sorting, fails to track dynamic cell behavior, while the latter has been limited to complex channel-based microfluidic platforms. In this study, digital microfluidics (DMF) was integrated with OT for selective trapping, relocation, and further proliferation of single bacterial cells, while offering continuous imaging of cells to evaluate dynamic cell behavior. To enable this, magnetic beads coated with Salmonella Typhimurium-targeting antibodies were seeded in the microwell array of the DMF platform, and used to capture single cells of a fluorescent S. Typhimurium population. Next, OT were used to select a bead with a bacterium of interest, based on its fluorescent expression, and to relocate this bead to a different microwell on the same or different array. Using an agar patch affixed on top, the relocated bacterium was subsequently allowed to proliferate. Our OT-integrated DMF platform thus successfully enabled selective trapping, retrieval, relocation, and proliferation of bacteria of interest at single-cell level, thereby enabling their downstream analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical tweezers; single-cell; digital microfluidics; Salmonella Typhimurium optical tweezers; single-cell; digital microfluidics; Salmonella Typhimurium
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Tewari Kumar, P.; Decrop, D.; Safdar, S.; Passaris, I.; Kokalj, T.; Puers, R.; Aertsen, A.; Spasic, D.; Lammertyn, J. Digital Microfluidics for Single Bacteria Capture and Selective Retrieval Using Optical Tweezers. Micromachines 2020, 11, 308.

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