Using buoyant mass to measure the growth of single cells

Michel Godin, Francisco Feijó Delgado, Sungmin Son, William H. Grover, Andrea K. Bryan, Amit Tzur, Paul Jorgensen, Kris Payer, Alan D. Grossman, Marc W. Kirschner, Scott R. Manalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Scopus citations


We used a suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) combined with picoliter-scale microfluidic control to measure buoyant mass and determine the 'instantaneous' growth rates of individual cells. The SMR measures mass with femtogram precision, allowing rapid determination of the growth rate in a fraction of a complete cell cycle. We found that for individual cells of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mouse lymphoblasts, heavier cells grew faster than lighter cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-390
Number of pages4
JournalNature Methods
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by EUREKA (R01GM085457) and a Center for Cell Decision Process Grant (P50GM68762) from the US National Institute of Health and by an Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies Grant (DAAD1903D0004) from the US Army Research Office. M.G. acknowledges support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. F.F.D. acknowledges support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, through a graduate fellowship (SFRH/BD/47736/2008).


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