Supramolecular catch and release: Cyclodextrin-functionalized microfluidics for reversible immobilization of (model) bacteria

Stan B.J. Willems

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The increase in prevalence of pathogenic bacteria coupled provided the motivation for developing and studying platforms for specific on-flow immobilization of bacteria. To approach this goal, we studied the concept of using supramolecular host-guest chemistry for immobilizing model microparticles and bacteria with cyclodextrin functionalized glass surfaces. Fluorescence microscopy was used as the main tool for characterizing surface functionalization and studying surface adhesion interactions.

The experimental chapters explored important steps for developing platforms to study removal of molecules, microparticles and bacteria:

  • Development of functionalized surfaces patterned with cyclodextrin

  • Incorporation of patterned surfaces within microfluidic devices

  • Immobilization of polystyrene microparticles on cyclodextrin patterned surfaces through host-guest interactions as proof-of-concept and developing a controllable model system

  • Immobilization of bacteria on cyclodextrin patterned surface through including an intermediary targeting molecules

Results show that the cyclodextrin patterned microfluidic devices are versatile tool for studying immobilization of microparticles, such as polystyrene and bacteria, through supramolecular interactions. The retention of particles was specific and selective for cyclodextrin patterns when functionalized with adamantane moieties.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Velders, Aldrik, Promotor
  • Saggiomo, Vittorio, Promotor
  • van Leeuwen, F.W.B., Co-promotor, External person
Award date7 Feb 2020
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463952569
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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