Hydrodynamic Cell Trapping for High Throughput Single-Cell Applications
Journal article, 2013
The possibility to conduct complete cell assays under a precisely controlled environment while consuming minor amounts of chemicals and precious drugs have made microfluidics an interesting candidate for quantitative single-cell studies. Here, we present an application-specific microfluidic device, cellcomb, capable of conducting high-throughput single-cell experiments. The system employs pure hydrodynamic forces for easy cell trapping and is readily fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using soft lithography techniques. The cell-trapping array consists of V-shaped pockets designed to accommodate up to six Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast cells) with the average diameter of 4 μm. We used this platform to monitor the impact of flow rate modulation on the arsenite (As(III)) uptake in yeast. Redistribution of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged version of the heat shock protein Hsp104 was followed over time as read out. Results showed a clear reverse correlation between the arsenite uptake and three different adjusted low = 25 nL min−1, moderate = 50 nL min−1, and high = 100 nL min−1 flow rates. We consider the presented device as the first building block of a future integrated application-specific cell-trapping array that can be used to conduct complete single cell experiments on different cell types.