This presentation will describe two microfluidic techniques that my research group has developed for single-cell manipulation and analysis. The first is called Digital microfluidic Isolation of Single Cells for -Omics (DISCO), a platform that allows users to select particular cells of interest from a limited initial sample size and connects single-cell sequencing data to their immunofluorescence-based phenotypes. Specifically, DISCO combines digital microfluidics, laser cell lysis, and artificial intelligence-driven image processing to collect the contents of single cells from heterogeneous populations, followed by analysis of single-cell genomes and transcriptomes by next-generation sequencing, and proteomes by nanoflow liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The second is called the optoelectronic microrobot, a system in which optically induced dielectrophoresis is used to control sub-mm particles or "microrobots" that can take nearly any desirable shape or form, and can be programmed to carry out sophisticated, multiaxis operations to manipulate suspended cells. We have used the system for single-cell isolation, clonal expansion, RNA sequencing, manipulation within enclosed channels, controlling cell–cell interactions, and isolating precious microtissues from heterogeneous mixtures. The two systems join a growing list of innovative techniques developed by the microfluidic community that are pushing the boundaries of what is possible for single-cell manipulation and analysis.
1. Define Digital Microfluidics (DMF)
2. Define Digital microfluidic Isolation of Single Cells for -Omics (DISCO)
3. Define the Optoelectronic Microrobot