APR 20, 2019 10:39 PM PDT

The Microfluidic-Based Drug Screening Chip

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A team of researchers, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), created a high throughput microfluidic-based drug screening chip that works to identify interactions between two antibiotics in eight hours. The screening chip can generate 121 pairwise concentrations and serve as a cell-based drug screening platform for surveying critical pharmacological patterns from these antibiotic interactions. The screening application can also be crucial for other cell-type agents and for use in clinical therapies.

Back cover image for the "Lab on a Chip". Credit: The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Current antibiotic susceptibility testing determines different types and doses of antibiotics that can block the growth of bacteria. Such testing has become critical with the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Overcoming antibiotic-resistant bacteria involves combination therapy of two or more kinds of antibiotics but, this kind of therapy is not always effective with the occasional unfavorable antibiotic pairs that result to suppressed antimicrobial effects.

The microfluidic-based drug screening chip will reduce time and enhance the efficiency of the combinatory testing. Using a sample volume of a few tens of microliters, the chip enabled 121 pairwise concentrations of two antibiotics to be formed in only 35 minutes.

Researchers used a mixture of bacteria and agarose and inserted into a microchannel. The mixture included injected reagents with or without antibiotics into the surrounding microchannel. The channel that had antibiotic molecules diffused into the channel without antibiotics and resulted in the formation of two orthogonal concentration gradients on the bacteria-trapping agarose gel.

Examples of testing results using the microfluidic chips developed in this research. Credit: The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Over a course of six hours, researchers were successful in microscopically observing the inhibition of bacterial growth by the antibiotic orthogonal gradients. The observations confirmed the different patterns of antibiotic pairs along with the different interaction types into either synergy or antagonism.

"The feasibility of microfluidic-based drug screening chips is promising, and we expect our microfluidic chip to be commercialized and utilized in near future,” says Professor Jessie Sungyun Jeon from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
SEP 29, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cycling Molecules into Drug Candidates
SEP 29, 2020
Cycling Molecules into Drug Candidates
Statistics show that just 1 in 5,000 drug candidates ever makes it from the lab to the pharmacy. In a process that can t ...
SEP 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Reduce The Severity of COVID-19
SEP 20, 2020
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Reduce The Severity of COVID-19
Almost a year into the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic and we still do not have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ...
OCT 13, 2020
Immunology
Early Tips For Cell & Gene Therapy Regulatory Compliance
OCT 13, 2020
Early Tips For Cell & Gene Therapy Regulatory Compliance
Cell and gene therapies hold great promise for improved health outcomes. Now is the time to advance life-saving research ...
OCT 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
The Power of Extracellular Vesicles
OCT 20, 2020
The Power of Extracellular Vesicles
What are extracellular vesicles (EVs)? They are tiny nanometer sized messengers that transport themselves between cells ...
NOV 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
NOV 08, 2020
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain have found that dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the psychoactiv ...
NOV 09, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
COVID-19 Vaccine by Pfizer More than 90% Effective
NOV 09, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine by Pfizer More than 90% Effective
A preliminary analysis of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine shows that it can prevent over 90% of people from c ...
Loading Comments...