Persistence is a phenotypic switch enabling individual bacterial cells to tolerate antibiotics. This reversible phenomenon occurs at very low frequency in bacterial populations, making observation and analysis of persister cells quite challenging. The Cellular and Molecular Microbiology lab aims at discovering the molecular mechanisms underlying persistence, which are still unclear and controversial.
This research project will address the question of persistence by using single-cell analysis to understand the molecular mechanisms triggering the differentiation of these elusive persister cells from the vast majority of sensitive cells. Researchers will develop in-house microfluidic chips by 3D laser lithography in order to design trapping chambers of the size of bacteria. Microfluidic chips will then be coupled to fluorescence microscopy, allowing to sort persister cells. Researchers will then proceed to their molecular characterization. Integration of the data will allow them to determine the pathways that are specifically triggered in persister cells.


Laurence Van Melderen
Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory
Faculty of Sciences


Benoit Scheid
Faculty of Applied Sciences

Created on September 11, 2018