How to line dance, with bacteria!

We have millions of these pets, why not teach them some tricks? And in a way this is the scientist from from Mesa, the University of Twente in cooperation with the Korean Institute of Science and Technology, have done.

By chaning the direction of a superimposed magnetic field, magnetostatic bacteria in a microfluidics chip can change direction. This allows the scientists to literally make the macteria dance to music.

The video below was recorded at KIST Europe shows playfully how it was accomplished. The movie was the winning submission of the microTAS video aword competition in Texas earlier this year.

Future applications

Controlling bacteria (or particles) from the outside are of interest for tergetted delivery (eg. in medicine).  For now the technology can be used to study microbial behaviour.




The paper ‘Magnetic manipulation of bacteria in microfluidics’ by Marc Pichel, Tijmen Hageman, Matthias Altmeyer, Leon Abelmann en Andreas Manz, was presented during the 18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences at San Antonio