Microfluidics

Ultra High-Throughput Assays on Live Microorganisms

Using microfluidics, we replace traditional growth devices, such as Petri dishes or microtiter plates, with 1nl to 1pl droplets of culture medium. Stable for several weeks, they act like microscopic culture vessels. Thanks to patented technologies, Biomillennia can cultivate and undertake functional assays on the droplets: mixing, adding reagents, merging, incubating, screening and much more. The difference is the throughput. With traditional lab techniques, it would take 120 days to generate ten million microtiter plates. Biomillenia generates this number of microtiter plates, and screens them, one by one, in less than three hours.
Our platform integrates culturomics and supports multiple growth conditions (aerobic, anaerobic or microaerophilic), incubation temperatures or use of up to 60 different types of cell culture medium. The synergy of state-of-the-art culturomics and microfluidics enables Biomillenia to cultivate previously “unculturable” microbes. Droplets create ideal conditions for growth, under which slower-growing or fastidious microbes can thrive. Our data show that droplets capture 80% of the original diversity of a microbiota sample, compared to 20% for microtiter plates.
Droplet making with Yeast cells

This video is very slow motion (300x slower): our unique technology allows us to generate 30 million droplets per hour! If you need to think big in your microbiological assays, microfluidics is made for you.

This video shows one of our techniques to generate droplets: a flow of culture medium with a suspension of yeast cells (on the left) is encapsulated into independent droplets of few nanoliters, containing live cells.
Microfluidic droplets generated by nozzles

Another technique of generating droplets is based on nozzles. They allow the generation of droplets of exactly identical size, increasing overall assay robustness. Nozzles can generate “only” 40 droplets per second, nevertheless, by using multiple nozzles in parallel the throughput becomes massive!

Watch each one of those droplets, how long would it take to generate the same quantity of plates?
Filamentous fungi in droplets

Droplets are not only suitable for bacteria: this video shows filamentous fungi developing very nicely inside the droplets.

Our platform is the result of our unique knowledge in microfluidics, combined with our deep knowledge of culturomics: we can adapt cultivation conditions exquisitely to the microorganisms under investigation.  We can even grow microalgae!

droplet collect

Once generated, each one of those droplets is ready to serve as a lab bench bioreactor.

Thanks to our patented technologies, Biomillenia can interact with the droplets and design and implement microbiological essays, at very high throughput: this is a slow-motion video; actual droplet flow is more than 200 times faster!

droplet merging

Inhibition assays require the co-culture of organisms Then a good option is to generate a first set of droplets with the agonist and a second one with the anti-agonist (eg: microbes extracted from a microbiome sample), incubate them separately and then merge the 2 sets of droplets.

Using microfluidics, we can generate 2000 co-cultures per second!

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