Automatic Membrane-Based Microfluidic Platform for Investigating the Emergence of Pathogenicity Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2019 IEEE. Understanding host-pathogen interaction is critical in better understanding the many characteristics of infectious disease. Especially, how non-pathogenic microbes can potentially evolve to gain pathogenicity in the context of host cells are of high interest. However, microbial evolution assays with host cells are extremely labor-intensive and time consuming. Here, we present an evolution-on-a-chip microfluidic platform that can run multiple rounds of bacterial infection, in-host-cell culture, and recovery of surviving cells, in a fully automated lab-on-a-chip format. To enable this, a porous membrane-based microfluidic platform was developed to selectively control bacterial cells and host cells. This system was used to conduct multiple rounds of infection assay to investigate the emergence of pathogenicity. Laboratory E. Coli strain that has limited intracellular survival capability was introduced to this microfluidic platform, and E. Coli strain that showed significantly higher endurance in host cells was harvest after repetitive running of on-chip infection assay. This platform features precise and automatic control of each experimental step to complete the complex multi-step assay, which enables the labor-intensive biological assay to be conducted in an automated microfluidic format.

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, C., Wang, H., De Figueiredo, P., & Han, A.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • June 2019