In this page, you can find a complete blueprint and user's guide for the mother machine, a simple microfluidic continuous culture device developed in our lab. Already in the 1950s, the Copenhagen School of Bacterial Growth Physiology rigorously and quantitatively demonstrated the importance of the balanced-growth conditions in, among others, obtaining reproducible results. There is now a renewed interest in growth, especially by researchers coming from quantitative sciences, and our hope is that researchers in the field use the mother machine or other devices that ensure steady-state growth conditions in their experiments.
There are several advantages for using devices like the mother machine. (1) balanced-growth conditions are ensured (2) one can change/control the buffer conditions (3) high-throughput (we typically collect tens of millions of data points) (4) single-cell level observations (5) long-term observations (hundreds of generations) (6) compatible with your favorite optics/microscopy.
Another reason for publishing the guide on the web is that we have seen many students and post-docs reinventing the wheels, especially when they just start to learn new things, because important details are not included in the literature. Have fun!