Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers develop micro Petri dish for massively parallel growth and screening of micro-organisms

Scientists of Top Institute Food & Nutrition, Wageningen University and Research Centre, NIZO food research and the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology in the Netherlands have developed a new technology that allows unprecedented miniaturisation of the growth of micro-organisms.

On a chip with the size of a postage stamp, more than one million cultures can be grown in parallel which opens up a wide range of uses from diagnosis of infection to the improvement of industrial bacteria. The corresponding paper ‘The micro Petri dish, a million-well chip for the culture and high-throughput screening of microorganisms’ has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (online Early Edition) on 7th November 2007.

A team of microbiologists and micro-engineering experts developed the chip that has the potential to meet the automation and miniaturisation needs of modern microbiology. The development of high-throughput bacterial screening methods has been slow in an era of advancements in fields like genomics and proteomics. The ‘micro Petri dish’ allows growth assays to catch up with other high-throughput technologies in the life sciences. ‘Besides that, the chip is readily manufactured, cheap and easy-to-use in a standard microbiology lab’ explain researchers Colin Ingham (WUR) and Johan van Hylckama Vlieg (NIZO).

The innovation is in the micro-engineering of a unique porous ceramic to create millions of wells that serve as growth areas for micro-organisms. The micron-scale wells of the chip can be regarded as an array of millions of “micro Petri dishes”, where bacteria or yeasts are efficiently supplied with nutrients from below through a porous membrane. By using this chip, assays for the detection and growth of micro-organisms will become faster and cheaper whilst it permits larger screening operations for improved industrial strains than have been possible to date.

TI Food and Nutrition ( is a unique public/private partnership that generates vision on scientific breakthroughs in food and nutrition, resulting in the development of innovative products and technologies that respond to consumer demands for safe, tasty and healthy foods. 'This project, a close collaboration between biotechnologists and nanotechnologists, is a good example of the trans-disciplinary approach we have developed', says Jan Sikkema, programme director at Top Institute Food and Nutrition.

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Micro Petri dish Screening develop micro-organisms

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>