Lab on a chip

Targeted delivery to single cells in precisely controlled microenvironments.

PMID 22622356


The heterogeneous nature of cells can be an issue for in vitro analysis of cell function due to cell type differences within a population. Observations are most often averaged and dependent on the homogeneity or lack thereof for most cell types. Patterning of features at the sub-cellular scale (< 10 μm) allows for single cell manipulation. Additionally, the ability to pattern multiple materials simultaneously with nanoscale precision enables facile fabrication of multiplexed cellular microenvironment arrays. Here we use this ability to deliver different materials to single or few cells within hundreds of microns of each other on the same substrate. Calcein AM, Calcein Red AM and quantum dots are delivered to live single or few cells. This allows for exposing limited cell numbers to many well defined conditions, thus opening the possibility of single cell based assays.