This project ist part of the PhD program of the SNI Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The project is a collaboration between the van Nimwegen research group at the Biozentrum and the Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology at the PSI. The wet lab of the van Nimwegen group, led by Dr. Thomas Julou, is at the forefront of method development for quantitatively tracking bacteria at the single-cell level in dynamically controlled environmental conditions (Kaiser, et al. 2018), whereas the PSI group focuses on microfabrication and prototyping. The main goal of the project is to develop a new method for high-throughput quantification of the effects of
antimicrobial compounds on single cells as a function of their physiological state. In the first phase of the project the student will develop new microfluic designs that allow arrays of strains and treatments to be assayed in parallel, building on existing prototypes that have already been developed in the van Nimwegen lab (e.g. the figure shows the response of a lineage of single E. coli cells to a sudden exposure to ceftriaxone). These designs will involve fabrication of channels with sub-micrometer dimensions and thus the use of electron beam lithography. The fabrication will be carried out at the PSI where, besides optical UV lithography, high resolution e-beam direct writing tools are available for defining high aspect ratio micro- and nanometer structures of arbitrary shape (Vila-Comamala, et al. 2011).