Team:Paris Bettencourt/Experiments/Methodologies/Microchemostat HastyJ


Team IGEM Paris 2011

Microfluidic chemostat system modified from Jeff Hasty's group


In order to increase the number of nanotube transfer events we observe in each experiment, we modified the microfluidic device from Jeff Hasty's recent paper [1]. Here the geometry of the microfluidic device is shown. It's a design where cells are grown in chambers of 40 micron x 50 micron x 1 micron, where two flows of medium are fed at the top and bottom of the squares. This way, the cells are constantly fed, grown exponentially into a single layer in the chamber, and extra cells are carried away by the flow. In the image, the channels for the medium flow are lined horizontally, and the "train" of squares correspond to our chambers. The bigger squares are our 40 by 50 micron chambers, and the smaller squares are the separating columns.

Images with Bacillus subtilis

Thanks to the help of Yong Chen's lab @ École Normale Supérieure, we manage to manufacture such devices, and load them with cells. In the following image, one chamber is shown filled with a Bacillus subtilis strain 3610 with a chromosomal GFP and one without the GFP marker.


Now equipped with such great technologies, we planned to carry out more nanotube diffusion experiments in this microfluidic system, with the devices we have construct and will construct in the near future. The microfluidic system offer us capabilities to control the growth condition of our communicating cells, and monitor them continuously for a long time.


  1. Entrainment of a population of synthetic genetic oscillators. Mondragón-Palomino, O., Danino, T., Selimkhanov, J., Tsimring, L. & Hasty, J. Science 333, 1315-1319 (2011).