Microfluidics systems for biofilm growth, manipulation and assembly

by Lucy Eland

16:00 (40 min) in BSTC 1.48

The Newcastle University Frontiers in Engineering Biology project (NUFEB) aims to model complex engineered biological communities at multiple scales. Wastewater treatment plants are the main focus of this project, as they are highly complex but extremely useful systems. The synthetic biology team aims to enhance micro pollutant degradation within these systems.

The assembly rules that govern biofilms and flocs such as those found in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants are of great interest if we want to incorporate organisms that we have been synthetically enhanced for micro pollutant degradation into existing communities.

Microfluidics systems for the study of cells will enable us to assess how biofilms assemble and also track growth rates of individual organisms within the biofilm. We have developed single cell deep chips and also larger scale chips for the study of biofilms. This talk will outline some of the designs, their fabrication and the preliminary testing carried out.