|Microfluidics has significantly contributed to the expansion of the frontiers of microbial ecology over the past decade by allowing researchers to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled micro environments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities. Spatially and temporally varying distributions of organisms and chemical cues that mimic natural microbial habitats can now be established by exploiting physics at the micrometer scale and by incorporating structures with specific geometries and materials.
In this article, we review applications of micro fluidics that have resulted in insightful discoveries on fundamental aspects of microbial life, ranging from growth and sensing to cell-cell interactions and population dynamics. We anticipate that this flexible multidisciplinary technology will continue to facilitate discoveries regarding the ecology of microorganisms and help uncover strategies to control microbial processes such as bio film formation and antibiotic resistance Open access to the scientific literature means the removal of barriers (including price barriers) from accessing scholarly work. There are two parallel roads towards open access: Open Access articles and self-archiving. Open Access articles are immediately, freely available on their Web site, a model mostly funded by charges paid by the author (usually through a research grant). The alternative for a researcher is self archiving , to publish in a traditional journal, where only subscribers have immediate access, but to make the article available on their personal and/or institutional Web sites (including so-called repositories or archives) which is a practice allowed by many scholarly journals.