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Encapsulation of single cells on a microfluidic device integrating droplet generation with fluorescence-activated droplet sorting



Encapsulation of single cells on a microfluidic device integrating droplet generation with fluorescence-activated droplet sorting



Biomedical Microdevices 15(3): 553-560



Encapsulation of single cells is a challenging task in droplet microfluidics due to the random compartmentalization of cells dictated by Poisson statistics. In this paper, a microfluidic device was developed to improve the single-cell encapsulation rate by integrating droplet generation with fluorescence-activated droplet sorting. After cells were loaded into aqueous droplets by hydrodynamic focusing, an on-flight fluorescence-activated sorting process was conducted to isolate droplets containing one cell. Encapsulation of fluorescent polystyrene beads was investigated to evaluate the developed method. A single-bead encapsulation rate of more than 98 % was achieved under the optimized conditions. Application to encapsulate single HeLa cells was further demonstrated with a single-cell encapsulation rate of 94.1 %, which is about 200 % higher than those obtained by random compartmentalization. We expect this new method to provide a useful platform for encapsulating single cells, facilitating the development of high-throughput cell-based assays.

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Accession: 052955953

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23404263

DOI: 10.1007/s10544-013-9754-z


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