Gas Crosstalk between PFPE–PEG–PFPE Triblock Copolymer Surfactant-Based Microdroplets and Monitoring Bacterial Gas Metabolism with Droplet-Based Microfluidics

Sunghyun Ki, Dong-Ku Kang
2020 Biosensors  
The PFPE–PEG–PFPE (Perfluoropolyether-polyethylene glycol-perfluoropolyether) surfactant has been used in droplet-based microfluidics and is known to provide high droplet stability and biocompatibility. Since this surfactant ensures the stability of droplets, droplet-based microfluidic systems have been widely used to encapsulate and analyze various biological components at the single-molecule scale, including viruses, bacteria, nucleic acids and proteins. In this study, we experimentally
more » ... med that gas crosstalk occurred between droplets formed by fluorinated oil and the PFPE–PEG–PFPE surfactant. E. coli K-12 bacterial cells were encapsulated with Luria–Bertani broth within droplets for the cultivation, and gas crosstalk was identified with neighboring droplets that contain phenol red. Since bacteria produce ammonia gas during its metabolism, penetration of ammonia gas initiates a color change of phenol red-containing droplets. Ammonia gas exchange was also confirmed by reacting ammonium chloride and sodium hydroxide within droplets that encapsulated. Herein, we demonstrate the gas crosstalk issue between droplets when it is formed using the PFPE–PEG–PFPE surfactant and also confirm that the density of droplet barrier has effects on gas crosstalk. Our results also suggest that droplet-based microfluidics can be used for the monitoring of living bacteria by the determination of bacterial metabolites during cultivation.
doi:10.3390/bios10110172 pmid:33187348 fatcat:vxrfouijzfc5pj7cxzs7icsdsm