Science

Cultivation technology


Gut microbes form symbiotic relationships and form stable communities in the oxygen free environment of the human gut. It is extremely difficult to reproduce the oxygen free gut environment in nature or the laboratory thus making it difficult to identify gut microorganisms with the result that most of their functions are still not clear.
To meet the challenges of gaining deeper insights into the functions of the microbiome, NOSTER has developed innovative microdroplet technology. We have separated live obligate anaerobic microbes such as Bacteroides and Akkermansia from fecal suspension into approximately 50 micrometer-diameter droplets and cultured them under conditions suitable for many different types of microbes to live using our innovative technology based on microfluidic devices. Furthermore, NOSTER has developed a wide range of optimal selective media tailored to specific species. This technology has enabled us to construct our unique and diverse microbial library, which consists of over 1,600 strains of microbes including very difficult to culture, enterobacilli and facultative anaerobic microbes such as lactic acid bacteria. Furthermore, we have developed cocultivation technology using a membrane filter method in collaboration with RIKEN Innovation Center 8). Utilizing this technology, we are proceeding with research to elucidate the symbiotic relationship between intestinal gut microbes. The isolation and cultivation techniques are the most important in our research and development projects such as metagenomics and microbial library expansion. These techniques are the backbone of all our projects and the major factors that make NOSTER unique.

Reference
8) Hidenori, S. & Yoshimi, B. Microbiol Immunol 59, 643-652 (2015).

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