, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1135-1143,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Jun 2009

Quantitative analysis of single bacterial chemotaxis using a linear concentration gradient microchannel

Abstract

A microfluidic device to quantify bacterial chemotaxis has been proposed, which generates a linear concentration gradient of chemoattractant in the main channel only by convective and molecular diffusion, and which enables the bacteria to enter the main channel in a single file by hydrodynamic focusing technique. The trajectory of each bacterium in response to the concentration gradient of chemoattractant is photographed by a CCD camera and its velocity is acquired by a simple PTV (Particle Tracking Velocimetry) algorithm. An advantage of this assay is to measure the velocity of a single bacterium and to quantify the degree of chemotaxis by analyzing the frequency of velocities concurrently. Thus, the parameter characterizing the motility of wild-type Escherichia coli strain RP437 in response to various concentration gradients of L-aspartate is obtained in such a manner that the degree of bacterial chemotaxis is quantified on the basis of a newly proposed Migration Index.