For many normal and aberrant cell behaviours, it is important to understand the origin of cellular heterogeneity. Although powerful methods for studying cell heterogeneity have emerged, they are more suitable for common rather than rare cells. Exploring the heterogeneity of rare single cells is challenging because these rare cells must be first pre-concentrated and undergo analysis prior to classification and expansion. Here, a versatile capture & release platform consisting of an antibody-modified and electrochemically cleavable semiconducting silicon surface for release of individual cells of interest is presented. The captured cells can be interrogated microscopically and tested for drug responsiveness prior to release and recovery. The capture & release strategy was applied to identify rare tumour cells from whole blood, monitor the uptake of, and response to, doxorubicin and subsequently select cells for single-cell gene expression based on their response to the doxorubicin.