Biofabrication of stratified biofilm mimics for observation and control of bacterial signaling.

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TitleBiofabrication of stratified biofilm mimics for observation and control of bacterial signaling.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLuo, X, Wu, H-C, Tsao, C-Y, Cheng, Y, Betz, J, Payne, GF, Rubloff, GW, Bentley, WE
Date Published2012 Jul
KeywordsBacteria, Biofilms, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Quorum Sensing, Signal Transduction

Signaling between cells guides biological phenotype. Communications between individual cells, clusters of cells and populations exist in complex networks that, in sum, guide behavior. There are few experimental approaches that enable high content interrogation of individual and multicellular behaviors at length and time scales commensurate with the signal molecules and cells themselves. Here we present "biofabrication" in microfluidics as one approach that enables in-situ organization of living cells in microenvironments with spatiotemporal control and programmability. We construct bacterial biofilm mimics that offer detailed understanding and subsequent control of population-based quorum sensing (QS) behaviors in a manner decoupled from cell number. Our approach reveals signaling patterns among bacterial cells within a single biofilm as well as behaviors that are coordinated between two communicating biofilms. We envision versatile use of this biofabrication strategy for cell-cell interaction studies and small molecule drug discovery.

Alternate JournalBiomaterials
PubMed ID22507453