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Home   /   Thesis   /   Exploring chemotaxis in magnetotactic bacteria

Exploring chemotaxis in magnetotactic bacteria

Condensed matter physics, chemistry & nanosciences Life Sciences Molecular biophysics Soft matter and complex fluids


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are a diverse group of bacteria characterized by their capacity to biomineralize magnetite nanoparticles called magnetosomes. The latter allow MTB to passively align along magnetic field lines. This feature makes MTB of great interest to develop magnetic-guided microrobots used for medical applications such as targeted drug delivery. To make the latter efficient, it is not only essential to understand MTB magnetic behavior but also how MTB react to diverse chemical stimuli.
The aim of this internship is to broaden our understanding of chemotaxis in MTB. Several MTB species can be grown in the lab and will be investigated during the thesis. Typically, tethered cells and motility assays involving the use of microfluidics, microscopy and image analysis approaches will be developed to investigate, on a single-cell and population level, the chemotaxis responses of the strains to different chemical stimuli. These responses will be studied with bacteria grown in different growth conditions and in the absence or presence of a magnetic field using a custom-made magnetic microscope. Altogether, the data generated will give first insight into how MTB give an integrated response to chemical and magnetic stimuli and will therefore open new routes for the further development of targeted drug delivery.


Institut de Biosciences et Biotechnologies d’Aix Marseille
Service de Biologie Végétale et de Microbiologie Environnementale
Laboratoire de Bioénergétique Cellulaire
Aix-Marseille Université
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