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Chitosan films for microfluidic studies of single bacteria and perspectives for antibiotics susceptibility testing

By Julie Tréguier, Loic Bugnicourt, Guillaume Gay, Mamoudou Diallo, Salim T. Islam, Alexandre Toro, Laurent David, Olivier Théodoly, Guillaume Sudre, Tâm Mignot

Posted 28 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/591602 (published DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01375-19)

Single cell microfluidics is powerful to study bacteria and determine their susceptibility to antibiotics treatment. Glass treatment by adhesive molecules is a potential solution to immobilize bacterial cells and perform microscopy but traditional cationic polymers such as poly-lysine deeply affect bacterial physiology. In this work, we chemically characterized a class of chitosan polymers for their biocompatibility when adsorbed to glass. Chitosan chains of known length and composition allowed growth of Escherichia coli cells without any deleterious effects on cell physiology. Combined with a machine-learning approach, this method could measure the antibiotics susceptibility of a diversity of clinical strains in less than 1 hour and with higher accuracy than current methods. Last, chitosan polymers also supported growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae, another bacterial pathogen of clinical significance. The low cost of chitosan slides and their simple implementation makes them highly versatile for research as well as clinical use.

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