Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New palm-sized microarray technique grows 1,200 individual cultures of microbes

Date:
June 25, 2013
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A new palm-sized microarray that holds 1,200 individual cultures of fungi or bacteria could enable faster, more efficient drug discovery, according to a new study.

A new palm-sized microarray that holds 1,200 individual cultures of fungi or bacteria could enable faster, more efficient drug discovery, according to a study published in mBioฎ, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Related Articles


Scientists at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston have developed a microarray platform for culturing fungal biofilms, and validated one potential application of the technology to identify new drugs effective against Candida albicans biofilms. The nano-scale platform technology could one day be used for rapid drug discovery for treatment of any number of fungal or bacterial infections, according to the authors, or even as a rapid clinical test to identify antibiotic drugs that will be effective against a particular infection.

"Even though we have used the antifungal concept for development, it is a universal tool," says co-author Jose Lopez-Ribot of the University of Texas at San Antonio. "It opens a lot of possibilities as a new platform for microbial culture. Any time you need large numbers of cultures, this has a big advantage over other methods."

"The possibility exists to use this same technology for pretty much any other organism," he says.

Microbiology and medicine have become increasingly reliant on micro- and nano-scale technologies because of the increased speed and efficiency they can offer, but until now the cultivation of microorganisms has mostly been conducted on larger scales, in flasks and in trays called micro-titer plates. The microarray technology enables the user to rapidly compare hundreds or thousands of individual cultures of bacteria or fungi, a big benefit in the search for new drugs to treat infections. And like many nano-scale techniques, the nano-culture approach described in the mBioฎ study is also automated, a feature that saves time, improves reproducibility, and prevents some types of user error.

To test the technique, the authors embedded cells of the opportunistic pathogen C. albicans in each of the 1,200 tiny dots of alginate on the surface of the microarray. Under the microscope, these nano-biofilms of C. albicans, each of which was only 30 nanoliters, exhibited the same growth habits and other outward characteristics as conventional, macroscopic biofilms, and achieved maximum metabolic activity within 12 hours. The tiny cultures were then treated with a wide range of candidate drugs from the National Cancer Institute library, or with different FDA-approved, off-patent antifungal drugs in combination with FK506, an immunosuppressant, for identifying individual or synergistic combinations of compounds effective against biofilm infections. Co-author Anand Ramasubramanian of the University of Texas at San Antonio says that the tests prove the utility of the technology in screening combinations of drugs.

"The antifungal screening results were similar to results in larger macroscale techniques. That gives us confidence that it could be used as a tool to replace existing techniques," says Ramasubramanian.

Going forward, Ramasubramanian says he and his colleagues are testing the microarrays with polymicrobial cultures -- mixtures of fungi and bacteria -- to see whether the technology can be used to explore treatments for mixed infections. They are also exploring clinical applications for the technique, testing patient samples against an array of drugs or combinations of drugs to develop tailored therapies.

Lopez-Ribot says their microarray technique is just the latest development in a decades-long trend toward the tiny in science. "Things are moving toward smaller scale, more powerful techniques. You don't need millions of cells for these assays like we used to -- maybe a few cells will do."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anand Srinivasan, Kai P. Leung, Jose L. Lopez-Ribot and Anand K. Ramasubramanian. High-Throughput Nano-Biofilm Microarray for Antifungal Drug Discovery. mBio, 2013 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00331-13

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "New palm-sized microarray technique grows 1,200 individual cultures of microbes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625074149.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2013, June 25). New palm-sized microarray technique grows 1,200 individual cultures of microbes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625074149.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "New palm-sized microarray technique grows 1,200 individual cultures of microbes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625074149.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) — Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins