High-Throughput Generation, Manipulation, and Degradation of Magnetic Nanoparticle-Laden Alginate Core-Shell Beads for Single Bacteria Culturing Analysis

Shuai Yuan, Yulin Zhang, Lang Nan, P. T. Lai, Tong Zhang, Philip W.T. Pong, Ho Cheung Shum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Microbes could be found almost everywhere around us and have significant impacts on our human society. The treatment of microorganisms has long been seen as a complex problem. Till now, most of the genetic and phenotypic information regarding rare species is buried in the bulk microbial colony due to a lack of efficient tools to screen live bacteria. Droplet microfluidics offers a powerful approach to address this problem. However, the interactions among bacteria and their living environment are entirely restricted by the water/oil interfaces in conventional water/oil single emulsion-based microfluidic systems. Here, we demonstrate an oil-mediated all-aqueous microfluidic workflow that can overcome this drawback. In contrast to the previous works, our all-aqueous culturing environment allows cell-cell and cell-environment interactions, thus facilitating the growth of bacteria. Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles added into the alginate beads enables on-chip manipulation of the microcapsules. The core-shell structure separately encapsulates bacteria and magnetic particles in the core and shell to avoid contamination. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by single bacterium culturing in droplet-templated alginate beads. Finally, a new approach is proposed to degrade the alginate beads for post-treatment. This novel microfluidic workflow can create new opportunities for microbial applications, such as bacteria culturing and screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Microfluidics
  • bacteria culturing
  • bacteria screening
  • biomechatronics
  • magnetic sorting

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