Timm, C. M. et al., 2015. Biomicrofluidics

Microstencils to generate defined, multi-species patterns of bacteria

Collin M. Timm, Ryan R. Hansen, Mitch J. Doktycz, Scott T. Retterer, and Dale A. Pelletier
12 November 2015,  Biomicrofluidics 9(6): 064103; doi: 10.1063/1.4935938


Microbial communities are complex heterogeneous systems that are influenced by physical and chemical interactions with their environment, host, and community members. Techniques that facilitate the quantitative evaluation of how microscale organization influences the morphogenesis of multispecies communities could provide valuable insights into the dynamic behavior and organization of natural communities, the design of synthetic environments for multispecies culture, and the engineering of artificial consortia. In this work, we demonstrate a method for patterning microbes into simple arrangements that allow the quantitative measurement of growth dynamics as a function of their proximity to one another. The method combines parylene-based liftoff techniques with microfluidic delivery to simultaneously pattern multiple bacterial species with high viability using low-cost, customizable methods. Quantitative measurements of bacterial growth for two competing isolates demonstrate that spatial coordination can play a critical role in multispecies growth and structure.


Timm CT, Hansen RR, Doktycz MJ, Retterer ST and Pelletier DA. (2015). Microstencils to generate defined, multispeices patterns of bacteria. Biomicrofluidics 9, 064103 doi: 10.1063/1.4935938