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Observing the heterogeneity in micro-organism colonies using micriofluidics.

Observing the heterogeneity in micro-organism colonies using micriofluidics.

By In Aiv Internship On January 4, 2019


Internship title: Observing the heterogeneity in micro-organism colonies using micriofluidics.

LABORATORY
Name: Physical Microfluidics and Bio-engineering
Affiliation: Institut Pasteur & Ecole Polytechnique
Address: 25 Rue du Dr. Roux, Paris, France
E-mail: charles.baroud@pasteur.fr

LAB Director
Name: Charles Baroud
Phone number: 0145688662
E-mail: charles.baroud@pasteur.fr

SUPERVISOR
Name: Charles Baroud
Phone number: 0145688662
E-mail: charles.baroud@pasteur.fr

Subject Keywords: Droplets, Microfluidics, yeast, bacteria, antibiotics
Tools and methodologies: Microfluidics, Image analysis, microbiology, genetic modification
Summary of lab’s interests: Our joint Polytechnique/Pasteur lab aims to answer biological questions using mi- crofluidic tools, quantitative measurements and mathematical modeling. The group members have backgrounds in physics, engineering, cell biology and microbiology. We address both fundamental scientific questions and their applications. Most up-to-date information can be found here : https://research.pasteur.fr/fr/team/physical-microfluidics-bioengineering/
Project summary: We have recently developed a platform for the study of colonies of micro-organisms in microfluidic droplets [1]. This technology is now robust and allows us to observe the growth of hundreds of colonies, each starting from a single cell. Several questions arise :
1. We observe very strong differences between the growth of bacterial colonies and yeast colonies. While the bacteria follow well-posed stochastic behavior, the yeast display much stronger variations in growth rates. We would therefore like to understand why yeast cells behave in such a heterogeneous fashion and what implications this has on genetic repair in the cells.
2. A second question concerns the response of bacteria to antibiotics. Indeed, antibiotic resistance is a major worldwide threat that requires a strong investment in fundamental studies to counteract. However most of the studies describing how bacteria acquire re- sistance are based on measurements on populations of cells. We are currently addressing several questions on emergence of antibiotic resistance on the scale of a single-cell and its daughters.
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: All of the projects above require a combination of experimetal work (microfluidics, microscopy, etc.) coupled with image and data analysis, as well as some biology. A strong background in quantitative sciences (physics, engineering, biophysics, …) is therefore critical. The possibility for a PhD afterward the M2 project can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.