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Science. 2005 Jul 1;309(5731):137-40.

Long-term monitoring of bacteria undergoing programmed population control in a microchemostat.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

Using an active approach to preventing biofilm formation, we implemented a microfluidic bioreactor that enables long-term culture and monitoring of extremely small populations of bacteria with single-cell resolution. We used this device to observe the dynamics of Escherichia coli carrying a synthetic "population control" circuit that regulates cell density through a feedback mechanism based on quorum sensing. The microfluidic bioreactor enabled long-term monitoring of unnatural behavior programmed by the synthetic circuit, which included sustained oscillations in cell density and associated morphological changes, over hundreds of hours.

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