A printed nanolitre-scale bacterial sensor array

Sahar Melamed, Laura Ceriotti, Wilfried Weigel, Franois Rossi, Pascal Colpo, Shimshon Belkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The last decade has witnessed a significant increase in interest in whole-cell biosensors for diverse applications, as well as a rapid and continuous expansion of array technologies. The combination of these two disciplines has yielded the notion of whole-cell array biosensors. We present a potential manifestation of this idea by describing the printing of a whole-cell bacterial bioreporters array. Exploiting natural bacterial tendency to adhere to positively charged abiotic surfaces, we describe immobilization and patterning of bacterial "spots" in the nanolitre volume range by a non-contact robotic printer. We show that the printed Escherichia coli-based sensor bacteria are immobilized on the surface, and retain their viability and biosensing activity for at least 2 months when kept at 4 °C. Immobilization efficiency was improved by manipulating the bacterial genetics (overproducing curli protein), the growth and the printing media (osmotic stress and osmoprotectants) and by a chemical modification of the inanimate surface (self-assembled layers of 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane). We suggest that the methodology presented herein may be applicable to the manufacturing of whole-cell sensor arrays for diverse high throughput applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2011


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