Dr. Lars Behrendt: Deciphering the behavior and physiology of single cells via microfluidics

Seminar: Center for Electromicrobiology

2017.12.07 | Anne Kirstine Mehlsen

Date Tue 12 Dec
Time 14:00 15:00
Location Center for Electromicrobiology, Ny Munkegade 114-116, building 1540-116

Speaker: Dr. Lars Behrendt, Professur Grundwasser & Hydromech


Title: Deciphering the behavior and physiology of single cells via microfluidics

Microfluidics has emerged as a key technique for the targeted observation and manipulation of microbial cells. This success is owed, in part, to the great design flexibility of this technique and by the possibility to observe cells using automated microscopy, which together enables the extraction and quantification of parameters relevant to microbial life (e.g. growth rates) at the single cell level. In combination, these methods provide a powerful recipe that has succeeded in addressing fundamental questions in microbial ecology. Here, I will introduce the basic steps in the design, construction, and operation of microfluidic devices, and present instances where microfluidics has been applied in the aquatic sciences, specifically in the observation of microbial cells. Examples will include the use of microfluidics in (1) monitoring growth in photosynthetic eukaryotes, (2) the study of light propagation in arrangements of spherical unicells, and (3) the use of microfluidics in conjunction with pulse-amplitude-modulated (PAM) chlorophyll fluorometry to assess the (photo) physiological state of a cell. Using the latter method, we are now able to investigate single-cell physiologies in response to precisely controlled microenvironments, permitting, e.g., the screening for favorable ecophysiological effects and their subsequent selection and refinement for growth purposes. These examples illustrate a few of the diverse possible applications of microfluidics, and highlight the richness of data that would be almost impossible to obtain using regular methods. 




Department of Bioscience, Public / media, Staff, Microbiology