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Full-electric microfluidic platform to capture, analyze and selectively release single cells

  • van den Eeckhoudt, Ruben; 126891;
  • Christiaens, An-Sofie; 124080;
  • Ceyssens, Frederik;
  • Vangalis, Vasileios; 153810;
  • Verstrepen, Kevin J; 31931;
  • Boon, Nico;
  • Tavernier, Filip; 50717;
  • Kraft, Michael; 117649;
  • Taurino, Irene; 144408;
Publication Date
Sep 26, 2023
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Current single-cell technologies require large and expensive equipment, limiting their use to specialized labs. In this paper, we present for the first time a microfluidic device which demonstrates a combined method for full-electric cell capturing, analyzing, and selectively releasing with single-cell resolution. All functionalities are experimentally demonstrated on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our microfluidic platform consists of traps centered around a pair of individually accessible coplanar electrodes, positioned under a microfluidic channel. Using this device, we validate our novel Two-Voltage method for trapping single cells by positive dielectrophoresis (pDEP). Cells are attracted to the trap when a high voltage (VH) is applied. A low voltage (VL) holds the already trapped cell in place without attracting additional cells, allowing full control over the number of trapped cells. After trapping, the cells are analyzed by broadband electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. These measurements allow the detection of single cells and the extraction of cell parameters. Additionally, these measurements show a strong correlation between average phase change and cell size, enabling the use of our system for size measurements in biological applications. Finally, our device allows selectively releasing trapped cells by turning off the pDEP signal in their trap. The experimental results show the techniques potential as a full-electric single-cell analysis tool with potential for miniaturization and automation which opens new avenues towards small-scale, high throughput single-cell analysis and sorting lab-on-CMOS devices. / status: Published online

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