Mechano-chemostats to study the effects of compressive stress on yeast. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cells need to act upon the elastic extracellular matrix and against steric constraints when proliferating in a confined environment, leading to the build-up, at the population level, of a compressive, growth-induced, mechanical stress. Compressive mechanical stresses are ubiquitous to any cell population growing in a spatially-constrained environment, such as microbes or most solid tumors. They remain understudied, in particular in microbial populations, due to the lack of tools available to researchers. Here, we present various mechano-chemostats: microfluidic devices developed to study microbes under pressure. A mechano-chemostat permits researchers to control the intensity of growth-induced pressure through the control of cell confinement, while keeping cells in a defined chemical environment. These versatile devices enable the interrogation of physiological parameters influenced by mechanical compression at the single cell level and set a standard for the study of growth-induced compressive stress.

publication date

  • 2018