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Single-cell twitching chemotaxis in developing biofilms

Jan 24, 2017

Here we use microfluidic chemical gradients and massively parallel automated tracking to study the behavior of the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa during early biofilm development. We show that individual cells can efficiently move toward chemo-attractants using pili-based “twitching” motility and the Chp chemosensory system. Moreover, we discovered the behavioral mechanism underlying this surface chemotaxis: cells reverse direction more frequently when moving away from chemoattractant sources. These corrective maneuvers are triggered rapidly, typically before a wayward cell has ventured a fraction of a micron. Our work shows that single bacteria can direct their motion with submicron precision and reveals the hidden potential for chemotaxis within bacterial biofilms.

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Related technologies: Cell interaction studies

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Cell Microsystems

With BioFlux System for live cell analysis under shear flow and IsoFlux System for circulating tumor cell analysis, Cell Microsystems turn power of benchtop cellular analysis with advanced tools to automate complex assays.

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System that offers a fully-integrated solution for automated, high throughput shear flow assays

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Core control system, integrated to any inverted microscope to introduce flow to your research

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