Printing Multistrain Bacterial Patterns with a Piezoelectric Inkjet PrinterReport as inadecuate

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Many studies involving interacting microorganisms would benefit from simple devices able to deposit cells in precisely defined patterns. We describe an inexpensive bacterial piezoelectric inkjet printer adapted from the design of the POSaM oligonucleotide microarrayer that can be used to -print out- different strains of bacteria or chemicals in small droplets onto a flat surface at high resolution. The capabilities of this device are demonstrated by printing ordered arrays comprising two bacterial strains labeled with different fluorescent proteins. We also characterized several properties of this piezoelectric printer, such as the droplet volume of the order of tens of pl, the distribution of number of cells in each droplet, and the dependence of droplet volume on printing frequency. We established the limits of the printing resolution, and determined that the printed viability of Escherichia coli exceeded 98.5%.

Author: Jack Merrin, Stanislas Leibler, John S. Chuang



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