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Pump-free gradient-based micro-device enables quantitative and high-throughput bacterial growth inhibition analysis


Antibiotic susceptibility testing is very important in antibiotic therapy. Traditional methods to determine antibiotic susceptibility include disk diffusion and broth dilution. However, these tests are always labor intensive, time-consuming, and need large amounts of reagents. In this paper, we demonstrated a novel pump-free micro-device that enables quantitative and high-throughput bacterial growth inhibition analysis. This device consists of a series of wells and diffusion-based antibiotic gradient channels. The wells serve as antibiotic sources and buffer sinks, and we could easily observe the bacterial growth in the gradient channels .The design of the multi-wells is adapted to the commercialized multi-channel pipette, which makes it very convenient for loading reagents into the wells. For each assay, only about 20 μL antibiotic solution is needed. As a demonstration, we used both fluorescence images and dark-field images to quantify the bacterial growth inhibition effect under different antibiotics. The quantitative data of bacterial growth inhibition under different antibiotics can be obtained within 3 to 4 h. Considering the simple operation process and the high-throughput and quantitative result this device can offer, it has great potential to be widely used in clinics and may be useful for the study of the kinetics of bacterial growth.

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We would like to thank Yang Wei, Zhaojun Li, Qi Ouyang for helpful discussions. This work is partially supported by the NSF of China (10721403, 11074009, 11174012, 11434001).

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Correspondence to Chunxiong Luo.

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Ran, M., Wang, Y., Wang, S. et al. Pump-free gradient-based micro-device enables quantitative and high-throughput bacterial growth inhibition analysis. Biomed Microdevices 17, 67 (2015).

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  • High-throughput
  • Antibiotic susceptibility testing
  • Chemical gradient
  • Bacterial growth inhibition
  • Pump-free