Methods for Fabricating Microarrays of Motile Bacteria

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Motile bacterial cell microarrays were fabricated by attaching Escherichia coli K-12 cells onto predesigned 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid patterned microarrays, which were covalently functionalized with E. coli antibodies or poly-L-lysine. By utilizing 11-mercaptoundecyl-penta(ethylene glycol) or 11-mercapto-1-undecanol as passivating molecules, nonspecific binding of E. coli was significantly reduced. Microcontact printing and dip-pen nanolithography were used to prepare microarrays for bacterial adhesion, which was studied by optical fluorescence and atomic force microscopy. These data indicate that single motile E. coli can be attached to predesigned line or dot features and binding can occur via the cell body or the flagella of bacteria. Adherent bacteria are viable (remain alive and motile after adhesion to patterned surface features) for more than four hours. Individual motile bacterial cells can be placed onto predesigned surface features that are at least 1.3 μm in diameter or larger. The importance of controlling the adhesion of single bacterial cell to a surface is discussed with regard to biomotor design.


Small, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 2005): 445-451. DOI.

Richard Holz was affiliated with the Utah State University at the time of publication.