Gut health product discovery with microfluidics




Greater Copenhagen area

Project outline

Fermentable Oligo, Di, Mono-saccharides and Polyols are short chain carbohydrates that are good carbon sources for bacteria such as Lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are important for various applications within food for fermentation of milk into yoghurt, cheese etc., for fermentation of vegetables, fish and meat for conservation eg. dry sausages like salami. Also, for many years lactic acid bacteria have been used as food supplement for various health reason to balance the human and animal gut. Especially useful to treat diarrhea or more recently also to secure the health of small children from bacterial infections which under certain conditions in poor and malnourished children otherwise could lead to sepsis and in some of these cases death. [1].

In 2016, Novozymes together with Astra ran the Masseeksperimentet 2018, where 25000 Danish school students went out into nature to isolate new Lactobacillus strains, finding 3906 unique isolates of which 649 are unknown bacterial strains [2]. Now we would like to characterize the carbon source preferences of this large set of new microbial diversity. To make this characterization ultra-fast our microfluidics technology will be used. This lab-on-the-chip technology allows the targeted description of millions of microbes in just a few hours [3].

During the project the student will design growth media that allows optimal growth of Lactobacilli. The microbes are grown and selected with the microfluidics technology and further characterized with Biotyper and next generation sequencing (NGS).

Technologies: Microfluidics, Lactobacillus cultivation, NGS, BioTyper


[1] Panigrahi, Pinaki & Parida, Sailajanandan & C. Nanda, Nimai & Satpathy, Radhanath & Pradhan, Lingaraj & Chandel, Dinesh & Baccaglini, Lorena & Mohapatra, Arjit & S. Mohapatra, Subhranshu & R. Misra, Pravas & Chaudhry, Rama & H. Chen, Hegang & Johnson, Judith & Glenn Morris, J & Paneth, Nigel & Gewolb, Ira. (2017). A randomized synbiotic trial to prevent sepsis among infants in rural India. Nature. 548. 10.1038/nature23480.


[3] Lu, Heng, et al. "High throughput single cell counting in droplet-based microfluidics." Scientific Reports 7.1 (2017): 1366.

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Company / Organization

DTU Fødevareinstituttet


Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen




Supervisor info

MSc in Biotechnology


Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen

ECTS credits

25 - 30


MSc thesis

MSc in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen

ECTS credits

25 - 30


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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