On-chip single-cell microcultivation assay for monitoring environmental effects on isolated cells

Senkei Umehara, Yuichi Wakamoto, Ippei Inoue, Kenji Yasuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a on-chip single-cell microcultivation assay as a means of observing the adaptation process of single bacterial cells during nutrient concentration changes. This assay enables the direct observation of single cells captured in microchambers made on thin glass slides and having semipermeable membrane lids, in which cells were kept isolated with optical tweezers. After changing a medium of 0.2% (w/v) glucose concentration to make it nutrient-free 0.9% NaCl medium, the growth of all cells inserted into the medium stopped within 20min, irrespective of their cell cycles. When a nutrient-rich medium was restored, the cells started to grow again, even after the medium had remained nutrient-free for 42h. The results indicate that the cell's growth and division are directly related to their nutrient condition. The growth curve also indicates that the cells keep their memory of what their growth and division had been before they stopped growing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jun 6
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Growth
  • Microchamber
  • Microcultivation
  • Nutrient
  • Optical tweezers
  • Single cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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