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Title: Selective single-bacteria extraction based on capture and release of microemulsion droplets
Authors: Li, Jiyu
Hu, Dinglong
Lim, Chee Kent
Ren, Jifeng
Yao, Xin
Ma, Chao
Chen, Weiqiang
Lee, Patrick K. H.
Lam, Raymond H. W.
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Li, J., Hu, D., Lim, C. K., Ren, J., Yao, X., Ma, C., Marcos, Chen, W., Lee, P. K. H. & Lam, R. H. W. (2022). Selective single-bacteria extraction based on capture and release of microemulsion droplets. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 15461-.
Journal: Scientific Reports 
Abstract: Human host-associated microbial communities in body sites can reflect health status based on the population distribution and specific microbial properties in the heterogeneous community. Bacteria identification at the single-cell level provides a reliable biomarker and pathological information for clinical diagnosis. Nevertheless, biosamples obtained from some body sites cannot offer sufficient sample volume and number of target cells as required by most of the existing single-cell isolation methods such as flow cytometry. Herein we report a novel integrated microfluidic system, which consists of a microemulsion module for single-bacteria encapsulation and a sequential microdroplet capture and release module for selectively extracting only the single-bacteria encapsulated in microdroplets. We optimize the system for a success rate of the single-cell extraction to be > 38%. We further verify applicability of the system with prepared cell mixtures (Methylorubrum extorquens AM1 and Methylomicrobium album BG8) and biosamples collected from human skin, to quantify the population distribution of multiple key species in a heterogeneous microbial community. Results indicate perfect viability of the single-cell extracts and compatibility with downstream analyses such as PCR. Together, this research demonstrates that the reported single-bacteria extraction system can be applied in microbiome and pathology research and clinical diagnosis as a clinical or point-of-care device.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-19844-8
Schools: School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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