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High-Throughput Microfluidic Sorting of Live Magnetotactic Bacteria

Title data

Tay, Andy ; Pfeiffer, Daniel ; Rowe, Kathryn ; Tannenbaum, Aaron ; Popp, Felix ; Strangeway, Robert ; Schüler, Dirk ; Di Carlo, Dino:
High-Throughput Microfluidic Sorting of Live Magnetotactic Bacteria.
In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Vol. 84 (2018) Issue 17 .
ISSN 0099-2240

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are useful for many biomedical applications, but it is challenging to synthetically produce them in large numbers with uniform properties and surface functionalization. Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) produce magnetosomes with homogenous sizes, shapes, and magnetic properties. Consequently, there is interest in using MTB as biological factories for MNP production. Nonetheless, MTB can only be grown to low yields, and wild-type strains produce low numbers of MNPs/bacterium. There are also limited technologies to facilitate the selection of MTB with different magnetic contents, such as MTB with compromised and enhanced biomineralization ability. Here, we describe a magnetic microfluidic platform combined with transient cold/alkaline treatment to temporarily reduce the rapid flagellar motion of MTB without compromising their long-term proliferation and biomineralization ability for separating MTB on the basis of their magnetic contents. This strategy enables live MTB to be enriched, which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been achieved with another previously described magnetic microfluidic device that makes use of ferrofluid and heat. Our device also facilitates the high-throughput (25,000 cells/min) separation of wild-type Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense (MSR-1) from nonmagnetic ΔmamAB MSR-1 mutants with a sensitivity of up to 80% and isolation purity of up to 95%, as confirmed with a gold-standard fluorescent-activated cell sorter (FACS) technique. This offers a 25-fold higher throughput than other previously described magnetic microfluidic platforms (1,000 cells/min). The device can also be used to isolate Magnetospirillum magneticum (AMB-1) mutants with different ranges of magnetosome numbers with efficiencies close to theoretical estimates. We believe this technology will facilitate the magnetic characterization of genetically engineered MTB for a variety of applications, including using MTB for large-scale, controlled MNP production.IMPORTANCE Our magnetic microfluidic technology can greatly facilitate biological applications with magnetotactic bacteria, from selection and screening to analysis. This technology will be of interest to microbiologists, chemists, and bioengineers who are interested in the biomineralization and selection of magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) for applications such as directed evolution and magnetogenetics.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Microbiology > Chair Microbiology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dirk Schüler
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Microbiology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 07:43
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 07:43