Brief Communication abstract


Nature Methods 7, 387 - 390 (2010)
Published online: 11 April 2010 | doi:10.1038/nmeth.1452

Using buoyant mass to measure the growth of single cells

Michel Godin1,6,7, Francisco Feijó Delgado1,7, Sungmin Son2, William H Grover1, Andrea K Bryan1, Amit Tzur3, Paul Jorgensen3,6, Kris Payer4, Alan D Grossman5, Marc W Kirschner3 & Scott R Manalis1,2

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We used a suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) combined with picoliter-scale microfluidic control to measure buoyant mass and determine the 'instantaneous' growth rates of individual cells. The SMR measures mass with femtogram precision, allowing rapid determination of the growth rate in a fraction of a complete cell cycle. We found that for individual cells of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mouse lymphoblasts, heavier cells grew faster than lighter cells.

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  1. Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  3. Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  4. Microsystems Technology Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  5. Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  6. Present addresses: Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (M.G.); Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (P.J.).
  7. These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to: Scott R Manalis1,2 e-mail: scottm@media.mit.edu



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