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 10 million microtiter plates. Biomillenia generates this number of microtiter plates, and screens them, one by one, in less than 3 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.

Our platform streamlines, for example, cell-banking processes:

Droplet making with yeast cells

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.

This video is very slow motion (300 times 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.

Microfluidic droplets generated by nozzles

Another technique of generating droplets is based on nozzles. They allow the generation of droplets of the exact same size, increasing the overall robustness of the assays. Nozzles can generate “only” 40 droplets per second, nevertheless, by using multiples 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 associated with our deep knowledge of culturomics: depending on the type of microorganisms we work/look for, we adapt cultivation conditions.  Even microalgae can be grown!

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. We design and implement microbiological essays, at very high throughput: this video is a slow motion, actual droplets flow is more than 200 times faster!

Droplet mixing 

Following a nano-injection of compounds or live biomass, droplets content needs to be mixed. We achieve this by forcing them to go through tortuous channels.

No need of a magnetic bead or agitator! Droplets are perfectly shaken, without compromising their integrity.

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 (ex: the 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!

Sample collection

Sample preparation

Incorporation in droplet of single bacteria

Strain growth, assay, and strain selection

Strain isolation and growth

A variety of other assay capabilities allow direct selection of many desired phenotypes, using non- GMO techniques. 

Novel Beneficial Strains

Biomillenia has the know-how to culture and undertake functional analysis of microbes in low volume droplets using the Company’s proprietary lab-on-a-chip platform.

A key advantage of the platform is that it maintains a higher diversity of the original microbe sample; thus enabling Biomillenia to culture previously ‘unculturable’ microbes.

With a parallel throughput several magnitudes higher than conventional methods (>30,000,000 bacteria strains per day), Biomillenia can culture and screen live strains and variants for next-generation therapeutics and consumer health products in volumes that to date have not been economically feasible.

Microbial strains with improved desired phenotype

  • Ultra-high-throughput single cell culture and screening allows for the processing of tens of millions of variants in a single screen
  • Workflows can be repeated in rapid (weeks) turnaround time
  • A variety of assay capabilities allow direct selection of many desired phenotypes using non-GMO techniques

©Biomillenia 2021


Tel: +33 1 48 91 02 82
BIOMILLENIA SAS, 102 Avenue Gaston Roussel
c/o BIOCITECH, Building Lavoisier
93230 Romainville, France