Single cell chemotactic responses of Helicobacter pylori to urea in a microfluidic chip

Xuan Weng, Suresh Neethirajan*, Adam Vogt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium that grows in the human digestive tract; it infects ~50% of the global population. H. pylori induce inflammation, gastroenteritis, and ulcers, which is associated with significant morbidity and may be linked to stomach cancer in certain individuals. Motility is an essential virulence factor for H. pylori, allowing it to migrate toward and invade the epithelial lining of the stomach to shelter it from the harsh environment of the stomach. H. pylori senses pH gradients and use polar flagella to move towards the epithelium where the pH approaches neutrality. However, its chemotaxis behaviors are incompletely understood. Previous in vitro tests examining the response of H. pylori to chemical gradients have been subjected to substantial limitations. To more accurately mimic/modulate the cellular microenvironment, a nanoporous microfluidic device was used to monitor the real time chemotactic activity of single cell of H. pylori in response to urea. The results showed that microfluidic method is a promising alternative for accurate studying of chemotactic behavior of H. pylori, the application of which may also be extended in the studies of other bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell motility
  • Chemotaxis
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Microfluidics
  • Urea

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