Halogen detection by Miguel Fernandez Garcia
The FP7 Project, BIOMONAR, focussed around biosensors is now nearly complete. Thanks to everyone involved, and particularly Prof. Raewyn Town (University of Southern Denmark) for leading the consortium. Prof. Shimshon Belkin (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) commissioned this hand painted BIOMONAR tile from Garo and Sonia Sandrouni of the Armenian Ceramics Gallery in Jerusalem.
Logo cake.by Els Oosterink
MicroDish BV is happy to announce the market launch of the Flow Cell (patent pending).
The Flow Cell is suitable for various applications and studies such as in environmental and medical microbiology, microbial physiology and ecology studies. It can be used for bacterial growth studies or the enrichment and recovery of microorganisms present in environmental samples that are otherwise hard or not to cultivate.
It allows to exchange the medium or liquid of interested for other solutions any time without disturbing the microorganisms growing on top of the PAO inside the wells. For slow growing organisms the device can be considered to approximate to a low cost, miniaturized chemostat.
For further information, please contact us.
Microdish BV will perform several tests at the marine “Station Biologique de Roscoff”, France, subsidized by the EU (FP7) program ASSEMBLE. The aim is to test a new workflow for the in situ enrichment of novel marine microorganisms using the newly developed MicroDish Biochamber.
For further information, please contact Dr. Colin Ingham or Dr. Zalan Szabo.
MicroDish participated in the MaCUMBA and ASSEMBLE sampling activities at the Station Biologique de Roscoff in late September. These EU FP7 activities allowed testing and comparison of cultivation techniques for marine microorganisms. MicroDish, with greatly appreciated help from the staff of the research station, placed cultivation chambers in the natural environment for long term testing of enrichment culture. We also used MDCC to isolate bacteria from sponges. The MaCUMBA program allowed a productive dialogue between industrial and academic partners including discussions as to which technologies and target organisms have greatest value.
The MicroDish Biochamber (patent pending) is a stainless steel device for the in situ culture and enrichment of microorganisms. The Biochamber can be placed in a wide range of environments such as the sea or fresh waters. It is reusable and very robust as it withstands extreme temperatures from below 0 to 120 degrees centigrade.
The Biochamber can ideally be used for microbial prospecting, fouling/biofilm studies, the assessment of biodiversity, metagenomics and gene expression studies. For further information, please contact Dr. Colin Ingham: c.ingham(at)microdish.nl.
Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for 2013 from everyone at MicroDish BV.
Researchers of Wageningen UR and NIZO Food Research (both NL) use porous aluminium oxide (PAO) chips as substrate for the rehydration of semidried particles and the subsequent live/dead staining of Lactobacillus planatarum.
Spray drying is an interesting alternative for the conservation of probiotics. The disadvantage of this process is, however, the decreased survival of the microorganisms. The descripted methodology is complementary to traditional techniques, as such conventional plating of cells. The scientific article was published as: Novel Method for Enumeration of Viable Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 Cells after Single-Droplet Drying, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. November 2012 vol. 78 no. 22 8082-8088.
MicroDish BV and the Royal Tropical Institute worked together on the development of an innovative technology for the cultivation, detection and analysis of bacteria, in particular slow growing bacteria, such as Mycobacteria.
The invention provides a method for the detection of growing bacteria, in particular M. tuberculosis, in a self contained setting. Growth is determined by the rate of change in colony surface area.
This approach allows the automatic detection (bright field or fluorescence microscopy) and analysis of the bacterial culture and hence implies a decreased health risk for lab staff. A second advantage of this method is the considerable shorter diagnostics time from weeks to about one week due to the nature of the technology.
Hertog AL, Visser DW, Ingham CJ, Fey FHAG, Klatser PR and Anthony RM (2010) Simplified Automated Image Analysis for Detection and Phenotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on Porous Supports by Monitoring Growing Microcolonies. PLoS ONE 5(6)
The yearly Hotzyme meeting held on the 27th and 28th of September was very successful. All 12 partners represented by 27 scientists, both academic and industrial (Sigma-Aldrich, Novozymes) arrived in Wageningen to discuss the present status and future directions of the consortium.
The presentation of internal scientific achievements on metagenomic sequencing, expression library screening and newly developed bioinformatics tools was excellent.
We should like to thank Zalan Szabo from MicroDish and John v.d. Oost and Servé Kengen (both WUR) for organizing this splendid conference.
Arno van de Kant joins MicroDish BV as Business Development Director. He has over 20 years experience in sales and business development in industrial biotechnology and diagnostics. Before joining MicroDish, Arno has worked five years in business development for TNO, working together with companies in biotech, food en pharma. He worked also for companies like New Brunswick Scientific, AkzoNobel, NIZO food research and Biomerieux.
Researchers of MicroDish BV and the Jeroen Bosch Hospital, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, showed earlier this year in a PLoS ONE publication that porous aluminium oxide (PAO) can be used as growth and subsequently imaging substrate for fungi such as A. fumigatus.
Marine microorganisms are thought to harbour a plethora of biotechnological relevant compounds. The cultivation of marine microorganisms is, however, challenging. They are often considered to be “unculturable”. The FP7 project MaCuMBA focuses on the improvement of the isolation rate and the growth efficiency of these organisms by applying innovative methods and procedures.
Within this project, MicroDish BV is involved in the screening and isolation of marine bacteria using the MicroDish Culture Chip. The development of high-throughput culture methods and the identification of culture conditions that enhance growth of slow growing microorganisms are additional goals of MicroDish BV.
Microdish and colleagues from Wageningen Research University are organizing the Hotzyme Consortium meeting, to be held on September 27-28, 2012 in Wageningen (the Netherlands). Hotzyme is an EU FP7 financed project with the aim of identifying and isolating novel hydrolases of industrial interest from hyperthermophilic microorganisms. Topics of the two day meeting will cover results from metagenomic sequencing, expression library screening and newly developed bioinformatics tools.
The MicroDish Lab has been upgraded to MLII status allowing a wide range of microbial culture to be performed, including that of genetically modified microorganisms.
Het ontwikkelen van sensoren voor het meten van drinkwaterkwaliteit. Daar draait het om in het project SAWA. Eind 2011 hebben de ontwikkelde sensoren verontreinigingen in oppervlaktewater gemeten, en lijken dus toegevoegde waarde te hebben voor de drinkwatersector. Vijftien partijen (Microdish ook) zijn eind 2009 gestart met het ontwikkelen van robuuste en kleine sensoren die online en continu stoffen in hele lage concentraties in het water kunnen meten. De ontwikkelde technieken worden in het speciaal ontwikkelde testcentrum SenTec in Glimmen (Groningen) getest en vergeleken met de conventionele meetmethoden. Bij het SenTec kunnen verschillende kwaliteiten water getest worden. Zo ook het water uit het riviertje de Drentsche Aa. Waterbedrijf Groningen maakt drinkwater uit dit oppervlaktewater. Het drinkwater wordt intensief gecontroleerd door WLN, centrum voor watertechnologie In de toekomst wellicht met behulp van de sensoren die in het SenTec ontwikkeld zijn. En dat lijkt dus te gaan lukken. Najaar 2011 kwam in een bovenloop van de Drentsche Aa per ongeluk een hoeveelheid mest terecht. Via de reguliere meetmethode was Waterbedrijf Groningen al op de hoogte van het incident en legde de inname van oppervlaktewater tijdelijk stil. Van gevaar voor de volksgezondheid is geen sprake geweest. Ook de sensoren die in SenTec staan en onder andere het water van de Drentsche Aa als testwater gebruiken, namen een verandering in de oppervlaktewaterkwaliteit waar. Dankzij dit incident lijkt een eerste bewijs geleverd te zijn dat de waterkwaliteitsverandering door de sensoren haarscherp is vastgelegd, en tegen lagere kosten dan met de reguliere meetmethode. Een hoopgevend resultaat. Voor meer informatie over het project SAWA: kijk op www.projectsawa.nl. SAWA wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door het Samenwerkingsverband Noord Nederland, het Ministerie van Economie, Landbouw en Innovatie en de Europese Unie.
A happy and prosperous 2012 to all our customers and collaborators.
The review article "Where Bio meets Nano, the many uses of nanoporous aluminium oxide in biotechnology" is now online in Biotechnology Advances (Impact Factor 7.6). This review starts with the manufacture and properties of a fascinating ceramic, and illustrates how advances in materials science can lead to diverse and inventive applications in biotechnology.
The EU FP7 project EvoTar was initiated this month with a 2 day kick off meeting in Utrecht. This project is centered around the evolution and transfer of antibiotic resistance - a critical issue in global health. MicroDish is involved in screening for new microorganisms that are antibiotic resistant and analysis of microbial growth under extreme antibiotic stress. This strong academic and commercial consortium is coordinated by the UMC Utrecht. See: http://www.evotar.eu
The Dutch microbiology society the NVvM (the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Microbiologie) celebrated its centenary with the launch of a set of postage stamps, in partnership with TNT Post. Each stamp represents a beneficial or industrially important microorganism, with strong links to Dutch science. The day ended with a tour of the archives of the "Delft School" of Dutch microbiology that includes the original notebooks of Martinus Beijerinck (1851-1931).
The HotZyme FP7 EU consortium was initiated in a kick off meeting in Copenhagen this month. This consortium of academic and industrial partners is dedicated to isolating thermostable hydrolytic enzymes for use in White Biotechnology. MicroDish BV is involved in high throughput screening and the creation of high value metagenomics libraries via the culture of novel extremophiles on the MDCC.
Dr. Martin Hessing of MicroDish BV commented: “We are delighted with Icos Capital as new shareholder. MicroDish will benefit from Icos’s expertise and experience to steer the company to further growth in the commercial launch phase. The investment capital will be used to complete product development and boost commercialization of the Microdish platform technology in different market segments where it replaces the traditional Petri dish with more sophisticated materials and miniaturized manufacturing processes that result in a significantly improved culture method.”
Dr. Peter van Gelderen, partner at Icos Capital: “Rapid microbial detection is a major challenge for various industries and clinical laboratories as well as the water industry. Our decision to invest in the company is based on extensive due diligence with support of our corporate investors who have specific expertise in screening of microorganisms. Further, Icos Capital will actively participate in the setup of MicroDish’s Netherlands-based R&D and sales and distribution activities in the microbial diagnostics market.”
Prof. Willem de Vos, along with an international consortium of scientists, has just published a breakthrough paper on the microbiology of the human gut in the top scientific journal Nature. The work uses metagenomics to look at the relationship between the individual and the microbial community of the gut. Distinct groups of individuals (enterotypes) have been discovered with different "ecologies" of microbes. This work has significant implications for how we think about our health and nutrition. We congratulate our scientific advisor. The online reference to the paper is doi 10.1038/nature09944.
The NanoNext consortium has been confirmed by the Dutch government. This 250 million Euro program, with MicroDish as a participant, is directed at connecting emerging micro- and nanotechnologies with strategic sectors such as health, energy and water. The drive is towards innovative products - making nanotechnology useful in daily life.
The MicroCanon is now online.
This is a multimedia project, headed by Henk Smit, which communicates microbiology to a wide audience. This effort draws together films, illustrations and articles to tell how our lives link with microbiology. Dutch microbiologists have been invited to write on aspects of microbiology that they find both fascinating and important. These chapters will appear as the Microcanon book later this year. One article - Moores Law of Microbiology - by Colin Ingham and Willem de Vos describes the potential for miniaturized microbial culture in the context of accelerating technology - a process to which MicroDish contributes.
For more see: www.microcanon.nl
The Faculty of 1000 is an organisation of prestigious scientists who review papers after publication, choosing those academic publications that they believe are within the top 2% "cut" for excellence.
MicroDish BV, in collaboration with Top Institute Food and Nutrition, the MESA+ Institute Twente, and Wageningen University (NL) published on printing massive arrays of microorganism earlier this year. This paper, in the lead microengineering journal Lab on a Chip, demonstrated precise and high-throughput contact printing of bacteria within the MDCC using a modified microscope as the "printing press" and a stamp of thousands of micron-scale pins.
New methods to inoculate microorganisms are critical to miniaturizing and increasing the throughput of microbiology in such processes as screening for pathogens or improved industrial strains. F1000 believed this paper represented a significant technological advance.
Ingham, CJ, Bomer, J, Sprenkels, A, van den Berg, A, de Vos, WM, van Hylckama Vlieg JET (2010) High-resolution microcontact printing and transfer of massive arrays of microorganisms on planar and compartmentalized nanoporous aluminum oxide. Lab on a Chip, 10:1410-1416.
About F1000: http://f1000.com
Read the review from F1000: (requires instituonal access) http://f1000.com/5687956
The sensor test centre (SenTec) at Water Laboratory North (WLN) will be opened by Max van den Berg, Commissaris van de Koningin in Groningen, at 1.30 on Friday 15th of October 2010. This centre will form the focus of the SaWa project (Sensors and Water) for monitoring and testing water quality. MicroDish is a full partner in this project, developing a biosensor platform, based around a MicroDish Culture Chip, to assess the regrowth of microorganisms within water pipes. MicroDish will demonstrate culture chip technology at this event.
The joint project between the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT - Amsterdam, NL) and the Centre for Concepts in Mechatronics (CCM - Nuenen, NL) and MicroDish BV features in an article for the MicroMegazine (Issue 4, August 2010, pages 26 to 33). The article, written by Marion de Boo, describes the history of tuberculosis research and how imaging and microcultivation techniques are being developed to accelerate diagnosis. The work was done with support from the MicroNed consortium. The article can be downloaded from the publications section of the MicroNed site: http://www.microned.nl/
Another publication that covers the same project, the rapid detection of tuberculosis from an academic perspective, was published this year in PLoS ONE (den Hertog et al. 2010, PLoS ONE 5(6): e11008. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011008).
On 8th June 2010 Prof. Willem de Vos, a co-founder of MicroDish, won the title “Most Entrepreneurial Scientist in the Netherlands in 2010” for his energetic leadership in innovation within the scientific community.
Click here for more info.
MicroDish BV joins BIOMONAR - Biosensor Nanoarrays for Environmental Monitoring.
BIOMONAR has the task to develop multiplexed nanoarray biosensors for selective and sensitive detection of environmental targets, i.e. pollutants and pathogens. The sensor platforms use customized microbes and microbial proteins to target specific molecules. MicroDish BV is contributing culture chip technology for screening and/or as a biosensor platform. BIOMONAR was initiated in April 2010 and involves front rank academic groups and technology companies from across the EU.
Click here for more info.
Over € 200,000 has been awarded to MicroDish as part of SAWA (Sensors and Water), an ambitious project to monitor the quality of drinking water within the Netherlands. MicroDish will deploy miniaturized culture chips within water pipelines in order to speed up and automate the detection of fouling.
Microbiologists are adept at handling bacteria with traditional manual tools such as the velvet pad, the wire loop and the sterile toothpick. However, automation and miniaturization is now required. Therefore, to complement our range of MDCCs, a set of high-throughput, multipin inoculation tools have been created (in collaboration with the Top Institute for Food and Nutrition and MESA+). This is another step towards the fully integrated, automated "Microbiology-Lab-on-a-Chip". This work has been accepted for the flagship journal of the microengineering community; Lab-on-a-Chip. To access the article: http://xlink.rsc.org/?doi=B925796A
Sepsis occurs when microorganisms invade the blood. It is a serious condition that can be fatal without timely intervention. Within the recently granted RAAKpro project (to run from the end of 2009 into 2013) MicroDish BV is cooperating with the TopLab in Leiden on a solution. The project will use the River Diagnostics Raman spectroscopy platform to devise a rapid, culture-based assay. The study will use clinical isolates from recent cases of sepsis. MDCCs will be used as the culture platform, combined with a powerful analytical tool - Raman spectroscopy. The aim is to accelerate the identification of bacteria causing sepsis and combine this with targeting an appropriate therapy.
Prof. Albert van den Berg wins the Spinoza prize for his pioneering work in nanotechnology and miniaturized devices – “Labs on a Chip”.
We hope you have a healthy, prosperous and interesting 2011.
MicroDish congratulates its co-founder Prof. Willem de Vos on being the first microbiologist to win the prestigious Spinoza prize – the highest Dutch prize for science. The Spinoza prize was awarded to Prof. de Vos recognition for outstanding research in the field of gastronintestinal tract microbiology and his involvement in developing the microdish concept.
MicroDish BV and the Fungal Biodiversity Centre (CBS) agree on a research collaboration to identify auxotrophic fungi.
This collaboration is aimed to join the expertise and knowledge of both partners. MicroDish BV will provide its high-density Culture Chips (MDCC). The CBS, having extensive knowledge of fungal taxonomy and evolution and functional aspects in general, will undertake the screening and characterization of the auxotrophic mutants.
This project represents the beginning of a fruitful partnership with respect to the application of the MDCC screening technology and the generation and screening of novel auxotrophic fungi.