Live single cell functional phenotyping in droplet nano-liter reactors

Tania Konry*, Alexander Golberg, Martin Yarmush

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While single cell heterogeneity is present in all biological systems, most studies cannot address it due to technical limitations. Here we describe a nano-liter droplet microfluidic-based approach for stimulation and monitoring of surfaceand secreted markers of live single immune dendritic cells (DCs) as well as monitoring the live T cell/DC interaction. This nano-liter in vivo simulating microenvironment allows delivering various stimuli reagents to each cell and appropriate gas exchanges which are necessary to ensure functionality and viability of encapsulated cells. Labeling bioassay and microsphere sensors were integrated into nano-liter reaction volume of the droplet to monitor live single cell surface markers and secretion analysis in the time-dependent fashion. Thus live cell stimulation, secretion and surface monitoring can be obtained simultaneously in distinct microenvironment, which previously was possible using complicated and multi-step in vitro and in vivo live-cell microscopy, together with immunological studies of the outcome secretion of cellular function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3179
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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