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Curr Microbiol. 2013 Dec;67(6):652-8. doi: 10.1007/s00284-013-0413-7. Epub 2013 Jun 23.

Culture and motion analysis of diatom Bacillaria paradoxa on a microfluidic platform.

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  • 1Bionic and Micro/Nano/Bio Manufacturing Technology Research Center, School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, No. 37 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100191, People's Republic of China,


We proved the feasibility of using a microfluidic chip to culture diatom Bacillaria paradoxa, and analyzed the gliding characteristics of its self-organized colony in detail. The optimal cultivation parameters of B. paradoxa for the designed chip made with polydimethylsiloxane are as follows: the preferable cells injecting rate for keeping the cells alive is 0.2 mL/h, the initial cell density for fast reproduction is 5.5 × 10(4) cells/mL, and the optimal replacement period of culture medium is 4 days. B. paradoxa tends to form a colony during their growth, and the colony can glide with a steady period of 29 ± 3 s along its axial direction in a constant stream, the amplitude of the colony will not decay (e.g., 24 μm of two-cell colony at 1.1 mm/s flow rate), and the colony rapidly adjusts its direction of gliding to the direction of water flow. The successful culture of diatoms on a microfluidic platform may be used for biosensing chips and the creation of gasoline-producing diatom solar panels.

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