A high-throughput microfluidic light controlling platform for biofuel producing photosynthetic microalgae analysis
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We have developed a high-throughput microalgae screening platform capable of analyzing biomass production at different light conditions with single colony resolution. Combinations of different light intensities and day-night cycles resulting in 64 light conditions for each of 64 culture compartments were implemented on a single microfluidic chip by blocking the light from a single light source with different black color dye concentrations and by switching between water and black color dye, respectively. Five microalgae colony-trapping structures in each culture compartment allowed single-colony resolution growth and biofuel-production analysis. Oil-producing microalgae, Botryococcus braunii, were successfully cultured and characterized using this screening system.