Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 7, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Microfluidic arenas for war games between neutrophils and microbes

Author affiliations


Measurements of neutrophil activities such as cell migration and phagocytosis are generally performed using low-content bulk assays, which provide little detail activity at the single cell level, or flow cytometry methods, which have the single cell resolution but lack perspective on the kinetics of the process. Here, we present a microfluidic assay for measuring the essential functions that contribute to the antimicrobial activity of neutrophils: migration towards the target, and killing of microbes. The assay interrogates the interactions between isolated human neutrophils and populations of live, proliferating microbes. The outcome is measured in a binary mode that is reflective of in vivo infections, which are either cleared or endure the host response. The outcome of the interactions is also characterized at single cell resolution for both the neutrophils and the microbes. We applied the assay to test the response of neutrophils from intensive care patients to live Staphylococcus aureus, and observed alterations of antimicrobial neutrophil activity in patients, including those with sepsis. By directly measuring neutrophil activity against live targets at high spatial and temporal resolution, this assay provides unique insights into the life-or-death contest shaping the outcome of interactions between populations of neutrophils and microbes.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic arenas for war games between neutrophils and microbes

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Nov 2018, accepted on 01 Mar 2019 and first published on 05 Mar 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01263F
Lab Chip, 2019,19, 1205-1216

  •   Request permissions

    Microfluidic arenas for war games between neutrophils and microbes

    F. Ellett, F. Jalali, A. L. Marand, J. Jorgensen, B. R. Mutlu, J. Lee, A. B. Raff and D. Irimia, Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 1205
    DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01263F

Search articles by author