CELL-BACTERIA INTERACTION USING MICROFLUIDICS AND OPTICAL TWEEZERS

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

There is a dramatic need to reduce costs in biological and medical research and diagnosis, and one approach to this is developing automated methods that use computers to control routine laboratory work. This project fits within this vision, and we propose an automated method for studying the process of bacterial infection of cells. Our approach makes use of the latest developments in optics and in fabrication of patterned surfaces.

Technical Summary

The goal of this project is to apply physical measurement techniques to address the biologically relevant question of interaction of bacteria with cells. We will use a combination of microfluidics and optical tweezers to control host and pathogen conditions, and understand the main parameters that determine the outcome of the cell/bacteria interaction. We will study in particular Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), an important food-borne pathogen, and macrophage cells. Current biological techniques available for studying host-bacteria interactions are limited in resolution, restricted to ensemble averages from a population of cells and involve manual analysis of data. We propose to perform and monitor controlled infections at a **single-bacterium single-cell** level using cell arrays on patterned substrates and optical tweezers in automated mode. This leads to parallel experiments on a large number of cells. The main advantage of our method is to resolve the properties and outcome of interaction at each event.

Publications

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Paul D (2013) Phagocytosis dynamics depends on target shape. in Biophysical journal

 
Description Dr Clare Bryant, has a BBSRC Research Development Fellowship, titled: A mathematical and biophysical analysis of salmonella macrophage interactions
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/H021930/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Title Image analysis of cells 
Description Software to identify, characterise and track the motion of motile cells was developed in the matlab environent. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is being used in research that is close to submission, and will then be made available. 
 
Title Microfluidics and Surface treatment 
Description Microfluidic chips, and technology on chemical and topological patterning of surfaces, was developed and will continue to be used in the research group. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in current research. 
 
Description Live cell imaging 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Department School of Biological Sciences Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are developing image analysis techniques, building on the MRC discipline hopping work, and hope to tackle a range of systems biology questions arising from the response of macrophages to the presence of bacteria.
Collaborator Contribution We have exchanged cell lines, and will jointly develop image analysis techniques.
Impact none yet.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Malaria infection of erythrocytes 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The technology developed in the discipline hopping MRC grant, to investgate cell infection, is being translated to the different scenario of Malaria.
Collaborator Contribution An MPhil student was attracted to work on the project. The project is the subject of grant applications to EU and Wellcome trust.
Impact The MRC funding was for less than year, and the outcomes will be seen in the near future. The collaboration will hopefully be developed with grant funding.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Alumni day at the Cavendish Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact About 70 people visited the poster exhibition, and Cicuta was the lead researcher describing the bio-physics research in the department.

none yet.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description BBC radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Bryant presented this research live on the BBC radio programme "The Naked Scientist".

none yet.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010