From now on, nanoliter bioreactions can be conducted 24 at a time thanks to a new technology.
The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology (KRIBB) announced on August 29 that an international joint research team, including Yoon Sung-ho from the Biochemicals & Synthetic Biology Research Center at KRIBB; Hong Jong-wook, associate professor of materials engineering at Auburn University; and Kim Ji-hyun, associate professor in the Systems Biology Department of the College of Life Science and Biotechnology at Yonsei University, developed a microfluidic chip that can culture and analyze dozens of microorganisms at the level of single cells.
So far, the implementation of batch cultures at the nanoliter scale has been difficult and time-consuming due to the quick evaporation of the culture medium and problems with controlling the conditions. The conventional method is to continually provide a culture medium at the nanoliter scale, and to test a single culture condition.
A newly-developed microfluidic chip with 24 nonoliter batch bioreactors can analyze multiple microbial phenotypes at once, because it can control the conditions of temperature and humidity that are suitable to cultivate microorganisms. Moreover, the system can assess the behavior of cells in a more accurate and efficient manner.
Dr. Yoon said, "This system that goes through the same manufacturing process as semiconductors enables cell culture experiments in hundreds of nanoliter reactors under different culture conditions in a single run," adding, "The new technology will facilitate the development of a new bioprocess that can produce useful medications such as anticancer drugs."
This study was published in a recent issue of the research journal Analytical Chemistry1.