A microfluidic assay design for real-time bacterial chemotaxis studies

Koser, H., Kaya, T., Mao, L.
Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT

We have developed a novel, multilayered microfluidic chamber that enables the realtime quantitative study of chemotaxis on virtually all types of motile cells.

In this paper, we present a FEMLAB modeling study of the 3D chamber design, including a consideration of each device iteration that successively led to the eventual design. The final chamber design is able to create and maintain an arbitrary chemical concentration profile along a containment channel in which cells are entirely free to swim in the absence of any flow. Therefore, the device design introduced here eliminates hydrodynamic forces on cells and enables a much more accurate study of chemotaxis phenomena than previously possible.